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Dáil Éireann - Revised Private Members Business (Fianna Fáil)
Tuesday 13 February 2018


That Dáil Éireann:
notes:

— that Ireland’s network of regional and local roads is almost 91,000 kilometres in length, accounts for 94 per cent of Ireland’s road network and carries about 54 per cent of all road traffic;

— that the local and regional road network serves as the main connection between homes and businesses in much of Ireland, including Dublin and other urban areas, and plays a vital role in balanced regional economic development;

— that according to the latest National Oversight and Audit Commission, almost 70 per cent of regional roads have structural or surface defects and that ten per cent or more of local primary roads were structurally distressed in 12 local authorities;

— that well-maintained and good quality local and regional roads facilitate strong links between and among communities;

— that the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has, on average over the past five years, provided local councils with less than half the amount of funding that is deemed necessary to maintain roads in a steady state condition;

— that repeated incidences of flooding and other extreme weather events have caused considerable damage to many local and regional roads;

— that many local authorities have too few outdoor council staff and have not been granted sufficient resources to hire additional staff;

— the importance of the speedy delivery of the planned upgrading of our national road network, for both the economy and a more balanced spatial distribution; and

— the considerable safety concerns arising from roads with structural or surface defects and that the presence of such defects increases the frequency of road collisions;

recognises that:

— the Programme for a Partnership Government commits to increasing the capital budget for regional and local roads by approximately 50 per cent, which has yet to be delivered; and

— the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport has estimated, in its Strategic Framework for Investment in Land Transport, that an annual investment of €580 million is required to maintain the current regional and local road network, €163 million more than has been allocated this year; and

calls on the Government to:

— significantly increase the regional and local roads budget in the context of the Capital Investment Plan 2016-2021;

— publish a full response to the findings of the National Oversight and Audit Commission, with a detailed plan to address the issues and defects identified in this report, within three months;

— review the management of funds at local authority levels, ensure that funds are being used in the most efficient and effective manner possible and provide additional administrative supports where they are needed; and

— provide quarterly reports to the Houses of the Oireachtas on the implementation progress of this plan, with the first update provided no later than six months following the passing of this motion.”

— Robert Troy, Bobby Aylward, John Brassil, Declan Breathnach, James Browne, Mary Butler, Thomas Byrne, Jackie Cahill, Dara Calleary, Pat Casey, Shane Cassells, Jack Chambers, Lisa M. Chambers, Niall Collins, Barry Cowen, John Curran, Stephen S. Donnelly, Timmy Dooley, Sean Fleming, Pat the Cope Gallagher, Seán Haughey, Billy Kelleher, John Lahart, James Lawless, Marc MacSharry, Micheál Martin, Charlie McConalogue, Michael McGrath, John McGuinness, Aindrias Moynihan, Michael Moynihan, Eugene Murphy, Margaret Murphy O'Mahony, Darragh O'Brien, Jim O'Callaghan, Éamon Ó Cuív, Willie O'Dea, Kevin O'Keeffe, Fiona O'Loughlin, Frank O'Rourke, Anne Rabbitte, Eamon Scanlon, Brendan Smith, Niamh Smyth.