Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Questions (245)

John Curran


245. Deputy John Curran asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the steps he has taken regarding the need for a grade-segregated intersection at the junction of R148 Lucan Road and Kennelsfort Road (details supplied); and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27167/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads (RLR) 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 the Council's own resources supplemented by State road grants, where applicable. The initial selection and prioritisation of works is also a matter for the local authority.

Arising from the arrangements in place in relation to Local Property Tax receipts the four Dublin Councils became self funding for regional and local roads under the main road grant categories from 2015.

As regards major strategic regional and local road improvement schemes, the main focus at present is implementation of the 12 schemes provided for in Project Ireland 2040. These schemes include the upgrade of the Adamstown and Nangor roads and my Department is providing grant assistance for that strategic scheme.

Before the financial crisis, local authorities could apply on a regular basis for grants for Strategic Improvement Grants for the strengthening, widening or realignment of regional and local roads. However, the extent of the cutbacks in grant funding during the recession meant these grant schemes had to be curtailed after 2013 because expenditure on maintenance/renewal was falling well short of what was required to adequately maintain the regional and local road network.

Project Ireland 2040 does provide for the gradual build up in funding for the road network but it will take time. For this reason there is limited scope at present for funding projects under the Strategic Grant Programme.

Any future projects proposed by local authorities for consideration under this Grant Programme are assessed by the Department on a case-by-case basis. All projects put forward by local authorities for consideration must comply with the requirements of the Public Spending Code and my Department's Capital Appraisal Framework and it is important for local authorities to prioritise projects within their overall area of responsibility with these requirements in mind. All proposed projects are assessed taking competing projects and the overall capital budget into account.

It is important to reiterate that the role of Exchequer grants for regional and local roads is to supplement local authorities in their spending in this area and it is open to South Dublin County Council to fund work on this junction from its own resources.

Question No. 246 answered with Question No. 243.