Thursday, 29 March 2012
Dáil Éireann Debate
258. Deputy Thomas P. Broughan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he expect construction works to commence on the N5 Scramoge to Ballaghderren, N13 Stranorlar to Derry, N17 Tuam to Claremorris and the N61 Athlone to Boyle; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17386/12]
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects is a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2007 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.
259. Deputy Éamon Ó Cuív asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the reason for the decision not to allocate any money under the local improvement scheme in 2012 and the reason that the provision of funding to upgrade roads that are not in local authority charge is not a priority; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17397/12]
Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): The current expenditure for regional and local roads will be reduced significantly over the next few years. Cuts of the magnitude proposed necessitated that some very good and worthwhile projects be curtailed.
In making adjustments to the regional and local roads budget the primary aim has been, as far as is possible, to protect previous investment in the road network and use the available funding to maintain and restore public roads, including those in rural areas. Given that priority, it is not possible to assist with any works on non-public roads. As you are aware, the maintenance and improvement of these roads is, in the first instance a matter for the relevant landowner.
However, the scheme has been suspended and not abolished. If and when the financial position of the State improves, it will be possible to re-open this scheme. In the interim, it is open to local authorities to continue to operate the scheme or a similar scheme from their own resources and I am sure they will do if they consider it to be a good use of limited resources.
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