The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads 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 local authorities' 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 my Department for regional and local road grants, grant funding is allocated on the basis of grant programmes and not on the basis of the category of road. The allocation of funding across specific roads or across categories is a matter for each local authority, having regard to the funding available to it from local and central sources as well as its particular priorities.
The main regional and local road grant programmes are focussed on specific policy objectives i.e. surface sealing to protect the road surface from water damage, road strengthening based on pavement condition rating to lengthen the life of roads and a Discretionary Grant Scheme which allows for a specified range of activities including winter maintenance. These 3 grant programmes account for most of the grant funding and are allocated taking into account the length of the road network and traffic factors in a particular local authority area. Apart from a requirement that 15% of the road strengthening grant is spent on regional roads, the allocation of funding to different categories of road is entirely a matter for decision by each local authority. Funding from the Department of Transport for Local Tertiary roads is not restricted to the CIS programme and the surfacing of such roads can also be funded from the Restoration Maintenance, Restoration Improvement and Discretionary Grant programmes, within the framework established at local level by the relevant road authority.