Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Reclassification of Roads.

55.

asked the Minister for Local Government what progress has been made with the reclassification of roads in each local authority area; and what system is being used to determine what is a main road and what is a county road.

56.

asked the Minister for Local Government if he will give a short description of the items which were taken into consideration and the methods used when roads were last classified, and the procedure now being followed when reclassification is being undertaken.

With your permission, a Cheann Comhairle, I propose to take Questions Nos. 55 and 56 together.

As regards the progress made with the reclassification of roads in each local authority area, and the basis to be used for such a reclassification, I have nothing to add at this stage to my reply to Deputy Clinton's question of 10th March, 1964, on this matter.

As regards the methods used when roads were last classified, it is necessary to advert to the classification made under the Ministry of Transport Act, 1919, for the purpose of Road Fund grants, whereby roads were classified as

(a) Trunk Roads

(b) Main or Link Roads

(c) Local or District Roads

The trunk roads were selected as forming a main skeleton network for the whole country, representing the roads of the greatest importance, from a national point of view, for through traffic purposes. They included the roads connecting the County Boroughs with each other, the roads connecting the towns of over 7,000 population with each other or with the intercounty borough roads, the roads connecting other large areas, and certain tourist roads or important coast roads not otherwise provided for.

The link roads were selected as forming a subsidiary skeleton network for the whole country and represented the roads which were of the greatest importance, from the county point of view, for through traffic purposes. They included roads connecting the principal urban districts and the county towns and not covered under the category of trunk roads; roads connecting smaller urban districts or congested areas; roads connecting certain other large areas of population; and certain other tourist and coast roads.

Subsequently, in the period 1925-26, a further classification of roads was made pursuant to the Local Government Act, 1925, into main, county and urban roads, for the purpose of apportioning statutory responsibility for construction and maintenance, and for determining the chargeability of roads expenses for the purposes of annual estimates. The 1925 Act classification, like the 1919 Act classification, was also made after consultation with the local authorities, and the roads which were declared to be main roads were the trunk and link roads of the 1919 Act classification together with some additional roads decided upon after the consultation which I have mentioned. No main road orders were made under the 1925 Act in the case of County Dublin, to which the relevant provisions of that Act did not apply and in which the older classification is still relied upon in connection with the allocation of certain Road Fund grants.

Is there any good reason why Dublin was left on the old classification when, in fact, it is carrying the traffic of the country? Are traffic rate and traffic pattern not taken into consideration in determining a main road, and so on?

I was born only a few years at the time this was done. I cannot answer for what was done at that time.

That reply is worthy of the Tánaiste.

I wish I were able to make it.

Questions Nos. 57 and 58 postponed.

The remaining questions for oral answer will appear on tomorrow's Order Paper.