Written answers

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Road Network

Photo of Violet-Anne WynneViolet-Anne Wynne (Clare, Independent)
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124. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will bring forward a rescue package for road network in County Clare that have fallen into significant disrepair following a harsh winter and an extended period of poor investment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13286/24]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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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 an Exchequer investment of €658 million in our regional and local roads across the State was announced which represents an increase of €32 million over the 2023 allocations. Each local authority received an increase in funding for their Restoration Improvement grant. This Exchequer funding is intended to supplement realistic contributions from local authorities’ own resources.

Clare County Council received a total allocation of €43,594,200 this year which represents an increase of €4,809,600 in comparison to the 2023 allocation.

In line with established practice, the Department emphasises to local authorities each year the importance of setting aside a contingency fund to manage severe weather events, including flooding and cold weather.

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.

In 2024, €3,244,000 in capital exchequer funding was allocated to Clare County Council for the protection and renewal of the National Road network in the county, with a further allocation of €571,946 in current funding for regular maintenance of the network.

Noting the above position, I have referred your question to TII for a direct reply updating you as to works that are planned in Clare in 2024. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.


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