Written answers

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Road Network

Photo of Richard O'DonoghueRichard O'Donoghue (Limerick County, Independent)
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117. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport why there was a decreased allocation for the maintenance of roads across the country in the Budget. [11431/24]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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As Minister for Transport I have responsibility for overall policy and exchequer funding in relation to the National Roads Programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 and in line with the National Development Plan (NDP), the operation and maintenance of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. This is also subject to the Public Spending Code and the necessary statutory approvals.

A major priority in the National Development Plan, in line with the Department’s investment hierarchy, is to maintain the quality and safety of the existing National Road network. The NDP foresees an exchequer allocation of circa €2.9 billion in capital exchequer funding for the Protection and Renewal of existing National Roads over the 10-year period to 2030. In addition, current Protection and Renewal funding is provided to local authorities each year for the regular maintenance of the National Road network in their respective areas, which includes lighting and winter safety measures.

While the 2024 allocation for current Protection and Renewal works on National Roads was reduced from €34.85 million to €32.85 million, it is important to point out that there was an increase of funding for Capital Protection and Renewal from €254 million to €265.16 million. This provides for measures which include minor improvements, pavement upgrades and safety interventions at dangerous junctions on the existing network.

In relation to Regional and Local Roads, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993, each local authority has statutory responsibility for the improvement and maintenance of their regional and local roads. Works on those roads are funded from local authorities' own resources and are supplemented by State Road grants. Of these grants, the vast majority (approximately 90%) are targeted at the maintenance and renewal of the network with c. 10% of the remaining funding invested in new roads/bridges or for road realignments.

On 15th February I announced an Exchequer investment of €658 million in our regional and local roads across the State which represents an increase of €32 million over the 2023 allocations, with each local authority receiving an increase in funding for their Restoration Improvement grant.


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