Tuesday, 2 February 2010
Dáil Eireann Debate
354. Deputy John O’Mahony asked the Minister for Transport if he will make funding available to Mayo County Council to repair the dangerous roads in County Mayo as a result of the recent weather conditions; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4893/10]
Minister for Transport (Deputy Noel Dempsey): The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. The carrying out of works on these roads is a matter for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of projects to be funded is also a matter for the local authority. When Exchequer grants for regional and local roads are allocated each year, my Department does not hold back a reserve allocation, at central level, to deal with weather contingencies. Holding back such an allocation would mean a reduction in the road grant allocations made to all local authorities at the beginning of each year.
The allocations made to local authorities are inclusive of a weather risk factor. Local authorities are expressly advised in the annual road grants circular letter that they should set aside contingency sums from their overall regional and local roads resources to finance necessary weather related works. The amount of money provided in the 2010 Estimates for funding regional and local roads is €411.177 million and this year’s allocation will be based on that amount. I have, however, asked local authorities to provide details of exceptional road related costs associated with the recent flooding and prolonged severe weather, which fall outside the normal financial provision for winter maintenance. I will announce the 2010 regional and local road grant allocations by mid February 2010 at the latest.
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