Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - County Donegal Roads.

9.

asked the Minister for the Environment the procedures that must be adopted in order to designate the road from Donegal town to Killybegs, County Donegal, as a national primary route.

Section 2 of the Local Government (Roads and Motorways) Act, 1974, enables the Minister, by order, to declare any existing road to be a national road.

In view of the fact that the percentage of County Donegal roads designated as national primary roads is very small and since Donegal County Council have established by a survey that the stretch of this road between Donegal and Mountcharles is the busiest in the county, will the Minister give an assurance that the road from Donegal to Killybegs will be declared a national primary route?

I have no application from Donegal County Council to regrade this road.

If such an application were made, would the Minister approve it?

When I receive such an application I will have it examined and make a decision.

Has the Minister any information about the number of roads in respect of which Donegal County Council have applied for upgrading to secondary or national primary routes?

I am open to correction on this, but I do not think there has been any application from Donegal to have a road regraded.

Would the Minister make inquiries to find out if several requests have been made for the upgrading of roads in County Donegal?

There may have been previous applications which were turned down, but as far as I know there are no applications in the Department at present.

10.

asked the Minister for the Environment the amount of money allocated for work on the national primary route from Bundoran To Donegal town in 1981; and the amount that will be allocated for this work in 1982.

The road grants totalling £4.475 million allocated to Donegal County Council in 1981 included a sum of £1,476,277 for improvement works on the section of road referred to by the Deputy. In addition, it was open to the county council to determine the amount to be spent on maintenance work on this section of road within the allocation of £310,000 notified for maintenance works on national primary routes.

I am not in a position at present to indicate the level of grants that will be made available in 1982 for work on this section of road.

In view of the fact that a very substantial portion of the road from Bundoran to Donegal town has now been completed, will the Minister give an assurance that no reduction will be made in the 1982 allocation for this roadway, even to the detriment of other areas in the county?

I could not give that assurance, especially if it would be to the detriment of other areas within the county, because that would be a matter for the county council.

We have been told by engineers in Donegal County Council that the Department of the Environment specify where allocations are to be spent on national, primary and national secondary routes. It seems to me that the Minister has the say, not Donegal County Council.

That is correct, but the Deputy asked me if I took money from another section of roads in County Donegal and reallocated it to this. I would not like to do that without the county council making an application to have it done.

Can I take it from the Minister's reply that he has not yet decided where the allocations will be made for the national primary routes in Donegal?

That is correct.

Can the Minister give me an assurance that money will be provided for that national primary route that is under development in County Donegal?

The allocations have not been decided on yet. I will be notifying all councils within the next month what their allocations are.

Can I take it that Donegal will get money for that national primary route which is under construction?

The Deputy cannot take anything yet until the allocations are decided.

(Interruptions.)