Written answers

Thursday, 19 January 2023

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Road Projects

Photo of Fergus O'DowdFergus O'Dowd (Louth, Fine Gael)
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15. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the current status of the Meath County Council draft appraisal for the proposed Julianstown bypass, which aims to deal with the relentless congestion experienced in the village; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [1343/23]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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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 Councils’ own resources supplemented by State road grants, where applicable. The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is a matter for the Council.

The major cuts to funding for regional and local roads during the post 2008 recession resulted in the build-up of a substantial backlog of works across the country. The estimated cost of the backlog is in excess of €5 billion. Because of the pressures on the regional and local road network, approximately 90% of available Exchequer grant assistance to local authorities for regional and local roads is being directed to maintenance and renewal works rather than for new roads or for road realignments.

Any road improvement projects proposed by local authorities for consideration under the Strategic Grant Programme are assessed by the Department on a case-by-case basis. All projects put forward by local authorities for consideration must comply with the requirements of the Public Spending Code and my Department's Capital Appraisal Framework.

The revised Public Spending Code requires a Strategic Assessment Report (SAR) for all projects with an estimated expenditure of €10 million or more. The SAR is now a key deliverable at the first decision stage in the project appraisal process. My Department has not received a SAR from Meath County Council for this proposed project.

As regards traffic management in Julianstown, I am aware that Meath County Council received planning approval in November 2021 for a traffic calming scheme for the village and that Meath County Council proposes to implement the scheme over a number of phases, subject to available resources.


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