I propose to take Questions Nos. 10, 16, 17, 22, 32 and 57 together.
The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads in this area is a statutory function of each road authority. 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 works to be funded is also a matter for the local authority.
My Department launched a pilot community involvement scheme, CIS, in 2013 for works on regional and local roads. The scheme was aimed at works on local roads which would usually only be considered for funding towards the end of a council’s road programme after routes with heavier traffic volumes had been dealt with. This is a voluntary scheme and is based on community contributions in the range of 20% to 50%.
I allocated more than €2.3 million to a number of local authorities in 2014 for previously committed CIS schemes. Following the recent review of the operation of the CIS in 2013, I am pleased to say the findings indicate the pilot scheme proved to be a success. Overall works with a value of almost €9 million were undertaken at a cost to the State of €6.64 million. A total of 299 schemes were completed in 2013, resulting in more than 173 km of improved roads.
Given the success of the scheme in 2013 in making available moneys go further, I can confirm that I have decided to allocate additional funding of €4.5 million to local authorities in 2014 for CIS. This extra funding, combined with the €2.3 million allocated in 2014, could see 170 km of additional road improvements. The Department will shortly contact local authorities seeking applications for funding under the 2014 scheme.
Separately, I will not be considering a similar pilot for the local improvements scheme, LIS. I have given local authorities considerable flexibility whereby they may use up to 15% of their discretionary grant, should they wish to do so, towards works on roads that have not been taken in charge. The local contribution for these schemes is 20% of the total cost of the project. In excess of €10 million is available in 2014 for the LIS should local authorities wish to allocate funds from their discretionary grant to such projects.