Wednesday, 10 February 2021

Questions (1044)

Niamh Smyth


1044. Deputy Niamh Smyth asked the Minister for Rural and Community Development the status of the local improvement scheme; if further funding will be allocated to this scheme to clear the backlog; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [6761/21]

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Written answers (Question to Rural)

The Local Improvement Scheme, or LIS, is a programme for improvement works on small private or non-public roads in rural areas which are not under the normal maintenance of the Local Authorities. It is funded by my Department and administered through the relevant Local Authorities.

Since the LIS was re-launched in 2017, over €58 million has been allocated for improvement works on over 2,300 qualifying roads. It has significantly improved access in rural areas, benefitting over 10,000 people.

An allocation of €10 million was available for the scheme in 2020 and this allocation has been fully drawn down following completion of the scheduled road improvements.

I secured an increase in the budget for the LIS this year, recognizing that many counties have a list of eligible roads that still require improvement works. The budget for 2021 is €10.5 million, and increase of 5%.

I will launch this year's scheme shortly and will announce the funding distribution to each Local Authority at that stage.