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 Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from local authorities own resources supplemented by State road grants. The initial selection and prioritisation of works to be funded is also a matter for the local authority. In July last year local authorities were invited to submit applications for consideration for funding in 2013 under the Specific Improvement Grants Scheme. Kerry County Council applied for funding for ten projects under this grant category but the road at Kilsarton Cross Currow to Cockhill was not among the Council’s applications.
The Department’s Strategic and Specific grant schemes are scheduled to be discontinued from 2014 onward in order to focus monies on the repair and maintenance of regional and local roads. The small amount of funding available for major schemes will focus on projects already under construction or that the Department is committed to.
It is also important to reiterate that the role of Exchequer grants for regional and local roads is to supplement Councils like Kerry County Council in their own resources spending in this area and it is open to the Council to undertake this work from its own resources.
The 2013 regional and local road grants have now been fully allocated and there are no further funds available from which an additional allocation could be made.