Thursday, 5 March 2020
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
Road Projects Status
1038. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if progress has been made in respect of draft appraisal for the proposed Julianstown bypass submitted by Meath County Council; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [2762/20]
As the Deputy is aware, the improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of the relevant local authority in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the Council's own resources supplemented by State road grants.
As previously indicated the extent of the cutbacks in grant funding during the recession meant that grant funding for road improvement schemes had to be curtailed after 2013 because expenditure on maintenance/renewal was falling well short of what was required to adequately maintain the regional and local road network.
The National Development Plan (NDP) does provide for the gradual build up in funding for the road network but funding is not yet at the level needed for the adequate maintenance and renewal of regional and local roads. For this reason the primary focus for capital investment at present is the maintenance and renewal of the network and implementation of the 12 regional and local road projects identified for development, subject to necessary approvals, in the NDP.
Some limited provision is being made in the capital budget for the appraisal of a pipeline of upgrade projects. This is intended to cover the appraisal of projects for future development, if possible.
The Department is continuing to liaise with Meath County Council in relation to the further analysis required to underpin the assessment and costing of various options for managing traffic in the Julianstown area and in this context the Department met with the Council this week.
As also explained previously the project assessment process can be expected to take time and all proposed projects must now comply with the revised Public Spending Code published in December 2019.
Meath County Council has confirmed that it is committed to implementing traffic management measures in the vicinity of Julianstown in the shorter term.