Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Questions (489)

David Stanton


489. Deputy David Stanton asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the amount of money allocated to Cork County Council to carry out repairs to roads which suffered damage during the recent winter storms; the amount drawn down to date; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [8427/16]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The Government decided in January 2016 to allocate €106 million to assist in the repair of storm and flood damage to transport infrastructure - this decision was taken on foot of initial estimates from local authorities of the cost of repairs. Following the Government decision, my Department requested (Circular RW 3 of 2016) local authorities to submit an immediate list of proposed road repair works by the 5th February 2016. It was indicated to local authorities that funding would be allocated in 2 tranches with the initial allocation facilitating local authorities to start repairs as quickly as possible and the allocation of a 2nd tranche in May intended to allow some time for the further investigation and evaluation of proposed works, for example in relation to bridges.

Following receipt and consideration of the returns received from local authorities, on 18 February the Department announced €85 million in grant allocations to assist local authorities in commencing repairs on regional and local roads. Local authorities were informed that the Department of Public Expenditure, in approving the additional funding for repair works, has stipulated that the monies involved have to be drawn down this year and that for that reason works listed in returns for implementation in 2017 could not be considered for funding. Local authorities were also informed that it is very important for them to plan their work programmes so that funding can be fully drawn down by the 30th November 2016. I understand that local authorities have already started the repair works to remedy damage arising from the recent severe weather and I expect the severe weather allocations to be fully drawn down during the course of the year. Cork County Council was allocated €11 million under the Tranche 1 severe weather allocations and to date, €140,612 has been drawn down.

Local authorities have until the 29th April 2016 to submit a second return in relation to additional works on regional and local roads. Following the second submission, the Department will again assess the proposals received from Councils across the country and follow up as appropriate with a top-up severe weather allocation. The amount available for allocation in the 2nd tranche is of the order of €5 million.

As regards the €8 million allocation provided to Transport Infrastructure Ireland for works on national roads damaged as a result of the storms and flooding, details of payments to local authorities is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) and I have, therefore, referred the Deputy's question to TII for direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within ten working days.