Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Questions (390)

Bernard J. Durkan


394 Deputy Bernard J. Durkan asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the financial disadvantage faced by the road maintenance section of Kildare County Council in respect of maintenance costs for its intensive network of secondary and minor roads funding for which is affected by the existence of several motorways which are the responsibility of the National Roads Authority; if he will re-examine the extent to which he will address the issues arising from the imbalance of maintenance funding available for minor roads by the virtue of being directly adjacent to the motorways which are separately funded; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [35908/12]

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

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. The maintenance of individual national roads is a matter for the National Roads Authority under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2007 working in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

Similarly the improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority, in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Act. The initial selection and prioritisation of projects to be funded is also a matter for the local authority.

State grants for regional and local roads are intended to supplement authorities' own funds. The allocation of funds from my Department, and previously from the Department of the Environment, has evolved over time to reflect changes in programmes and in the availability of funding. In recent times programmes have been changed or amalgamated to provide flexibility to the local authorities to meet their individual needs and to react to local issues and events. All of the works on regional and local roads which are funded by my Department are in the first instance prioritised by individual local authorities.

Every effort is made by my Department to ensure that the allocation to individual county councils is equitable in terms of the length of road within each county and the usage of such roads.