asked the Minister for Local Government whether he is aware that, as a result of the non-completion of the steam-rolling of the north coast road between Ballycastle and Belmullet, County Mayo, the Córas Iompair Éireann bus service has been discontinued, with consequent hardship to this thickly populated area, and whether by grant or otherwise, he will have the steam-rolling of this road completed.
Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Mayo Road Repair.
I am aware that in March, 1950, Córas Iompair Éireann discontinued the bus service between Ballycastle and Belmullet because they considered that the road was not suitable. The selection of road works to be carried out in their functional area with the funds available in any particular year is primarily a matter for the Mayo County Council. I understand that the council carried out some improvement works on portions of this road last year but that they do not propose to apply any part of the funds at their disposal for road works for the current year to the improvement of this road. I will, however, have the Deputy's representations conveyed to the council.
Is the Minister aware that this road, over which I have been travelling recently although it is not in my constituency, is in a very bad condition, that it is not fit for any mechanically propelled vehicle to travel over? Is he also aware that considerable inconvenience has been caused by the fact that the bus has been taken off because the road was not suitable for it? Would the Minister not consider it worth while providing the necessary facilities for the people there as the branch railway line has been taken up?
I am aware that the Deputy was and perhaps is a member of the body responsible for assisting in the determination of the road programme for the year. I have indicated that the Mayo County Council spent some money on this road last year but, for some reason best known to themselves, failed to include the road in the programme of works for this year. As I say, I imagine the Deputy should be in a better position to know the reason for that decision than I am.
The information we got from the county engineer was that the grant from the Department is not sufficient to permit us to allocate a sum for the reconstruction of this road.