Written answers

Thursday, 4 July 2024

Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport

Road Network

Photo of Pauline TullyPauline Tully (Cavan-Monaghan, Sinn Fein)
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23. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport his plans for increasing the funding and supports to local authorities for the maintenance and upkeep of regional and local roads; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28618/24]

Photo of Eamon RyanEamon Ryan (Dublin Bay South, Green Party)
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Since 2020, allocations provided for the regional & local roads programme in the annual Revised Estimates of Public Services ("REV") have increased year on year, with the current 2024 allocation announced as €658m in this year's REV. Over the years, further additional funds have been added during the year, to offer additional support to local authorities for the maintenance and upkeep of regional and local roads, with an additional €30m being made available in May 2024 for example, to assist with the damage to the road network caused by unusually persistent and prolonged rainfall over winter and spring period

From the outset, it is important to emphasise that the improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. And that works on those roads are funded from Councils' own resources, which are supplemented by State grants for regional and local roads.

As outlined in the 2024 Regional and Local Roads programme which I released on the 15th of February this year, the Government is strongly committed to protecting the existing regional and local road network. This network is fundamental in connecting people and places across the country. It facilitates business, education, tourism, healthcare, agriculture and the provision of critical services and activities.

Irelands regional and local road network spans over 96,000kms. The network requires significant funding to ensure it remains fit for purpose, safe and resilient. As such, €658 million was allocated to Regional and Local Road Grants in 2024, with approximately 90% of this funding being directed towards maintenance and renewal works. This represents an overall grant funding allocation increase of 5% from 2023. On 31st May 2024, I announced additional funding of €30 million to local authorities through Restoration Improvement (RI) Grants following persistent rainfall over winter and spring.

In addition, under the National Development Plan, the Government has made carrying out targeted improvements to sections of the regional and local road network a priority. €677 million is earmarked for such improvements over the 10-year period until 2030. Road improvement projects can be proposed by local authorities for consideration for funding. All projects put forward by local authorities must comply with the requirements of the Infrastructure Guidelines and my Department’s Transport Appraisal Framework (TAF). Each project will be assessed by the Department on a case-by-case basis, keeping available resources in mind.

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