Tuesday, 1 April 2014

Questions (654)

Seán Kyne

Question:

654. Deputy Seán Kyne asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the traffic situation in Claregalway has been brought to his attention; if his attention has been drawn to the substantial population growth which the district has experienced and the corresponding effects on transport; if the relief road planned will be part of the next programme of investment; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [15440/14]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

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. Given the current financial position it has been necessary to reduce the grant allocations for major new road schemes and for major realignment schemes.  The main focus has to be on the maintenance and repair of roads and this will remain the position in the coming years. The small amount of funding available for major schemes will focus on projects already under construction or that this Department is already committed to. I am aware of the traffic issues the Deputy describes. However, the preliminary cost estimate given in the 2010 Feasibility Study Report for the Claregalway inner relief road was approximately €21 million.  The Council was allocated €50,000 towards the design of the Báile Chláir Inner Relief Road in 2013.  However the reality is that my Department is not in a position to commit funding to the construction of a relief road for Claregalway at this stage. Any future consideration of a relief road would also take account of progress on the M17/18 project and its potential impact on traffic levels in Claregalway.