Written answers

Thursday, 21 March 2024

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Road Network

Photo of Richard BrutonRichard Bruton (Dublin Bay North, Fine Gael)
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179. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he has reviewed the adequacy of the funding for regional and local roads in 2024; how it compares with last year; how need is measured; what measure he uses to establish relative need in different counties; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [13546/24]

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. The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is a matter for the local authority.

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.

Within the budget available, grant funding is allocated on as fair and equitable a basis as possible to ensure that all local authorities are in receipt of funds to maintain the network. In this context, the allocation of the three biggest exchequer grant types (restoration maintenance, restoration improvement, and discretionary grants) are based on the length of regional and local roads within a local authority’s area, with additional weighting based on contributing traffic factors in specific areas.

This approach also means that, while central Government is supplying significant funding, it acknowledges that local authorities are best placed to make determinations in their own areas for maximum delivery of results. Indeed, the initial selection and prioritisation of maintenance and renewal works is a matter for each local authority. There is flexibility within the State grant programme for Councils to direct resources to address particular problems identified on their networks as they see fit.

It is important to note, arising from the arrangements in place in relation to Local Property Tax receipts, the four Dublin Councils are largely self-funding for works on regional and local roads since 2015 and my Department no longer provides grants to these Councils under the main regional and local road grant categories.


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