Thursday, 12 July 2012

Questions (262)

Gerald Nash

Question:

263 Deputy Gerald Nash asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport in view of the current difficult economic conditions, where households are trying to cope with increased pressures, if he will consider relaxing the requirements for residents living on 50/50 roads to contribute 50% to the cost of repairing these roads; if the allocation to the local authorities for the upkeep of these roads is not matched by a 50 per cent contribution by the residents, the allocation will remain unused and returned to the Central Fund; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [34202/12]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport)

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads, in its area, is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on such roads are a matter for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of projects to be funded is also a matter for the local authority.

As regards State road grants for public roads, paragraph 3.9 of my Department's "Memorandum on Grants for Regional and Local Roads” (revised in April 2012 and available in the Oireachtas Library) outlines the arrangements governing community involvement in eligible road works. The Memorandum provides that a portion of a local authority’s discretionary grant allocation may be reserved for community involvement schemes. In addition up to 7.5% of a local authority’s Restoration Programme can be used for such schemes in cases where local contributions (in money or kind) meet not less than 25% of the total cost of a project. Within the parameters set in the Memorandum the detailed arrangements for the community contributions is a matter for the local authority concerned.