Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Shane Ross TD today announced additional allocations to local authorities under a new ‘Special Maintenance Grant’ to assist in the repair of regional and local roads damaged by severe weather events.
Minister Ross said: “In deciding on the allocations I was very conscious of the fact that in certain areas of the country the fabric of the regional and local road network has suffered significant damage as a result of severe weather events and that in some cases local authorities have been faced with damage caused by repeated severe weather incidents. I am pleased to be able to provide additional funding support of €15m to assist local authorities in progressing repairs to affected regional and local roads before year end.”
Extreme weather events over the last year, such as Storm Eleanor, Storm Emma, flooding incidents and the summer drought have had a major impact on the regional and local road network. These events combined with the extended period of reduced funding for road maintenance following the economic downturn have left the road network much more vulnerable to damage.
In addition, a €3m allocation is being provided to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to assist with winter operations and maintenance works on national roads. TII assists local authorities with maintenance funding for national roads.
Minister Ross concluded: “This additional funding boosts the regional and local road budget in 2018 from €417m to €432m which represents an increase of 33% on the 2017 investment. I would also like to emphasise once again that I consider that local authorities are best placed to assess priorities within their areas and to decide their work programmes. I further wish to explain that these grants are to supplement local authorities own resources expenditure on regional and local roads and do not represent the total investment in regional and local roads for this year.”