Tuesday, 9 April 2019

Questions (546)

Micheál Martin


546. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if his attention has been drawn to the fact that Cork city and county has the worst record of road repair nationally; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [16580/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of local authorities, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the Council's 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.

Within the budget available to the Department, grant funding is allocated on as fair and equitable basis as possible. In this context, grants in the main grant categories are allocated based on the length of regional and local roads within a local authority area of responsibility, with account taken where appropriate of the local authority's own resources in terms of rates and other income. It is a matter for each Council to determine its priorities and decide its work programme taking available grant funding and its own resources into account.  In this context I continue to emphasise to local authorities the importance of prioritising roads when allocating their own resources.

While there were major cuts in grant funding for the road network during the recession, there have been significant increases in grants in recent years.  In this context Cork County has been allocated regional and local road grant funding of €50,465,240 in 2019 and Cork City has been allocated €8,288,800.

In relation to national roads, as Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme.  Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, the planning, design, operation and improvement of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

Noting the above position, I have referred your question to TII for a direct reply.  Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.

A referred reply was forwarded to the Deputy under Standing Order 42A