The Local Improvement Scheme, or LIS, is a programme for improvement works on small private or non-public roads in rural areas. The scheme is funded by my Department and is administered through the Local Authorities.
There was no dedicated funding available for this scheme for a number of years due to constraints on public expenditure. However, I was very conscious of the underlying demand for the scheme in rural areas throughout the country and I re-launched the scheme in 2017. Since then, I have allocated over €48 million to Local Authorities for LIS roads across the country.
It is a matter for the relevant Local Authorities themselves to determine which roads they wish to prioritise within the funding allocated to them, and to ensure that all roads selected meet with the scheme criteria as set out in the Department of Environment and Local Government Memo of 2002 which governs the scheme.
In this context, eligible projects include roads which provide access to parcels of land of which at least two are owned or occupied by different persons engaged in separate agricultural activities, or which provide access for harvesting purposes (including turf or seaweed) for two or more persons, or shall in the opinion of the County Council be used by the public. Roads serving only houses or buildings occupied or used by persons not engaged in agriculture are not eligible under the Scheme.
There have been no changes to these core eligibility criteria since I reintroduced the scheme in 2017.