Thursday, 11 February 2021

Questions (32)

John Paul Phelan


32. Deputy John Paul Phelan asked the Minister for Transport the status of the project to construct a northern bridge and road infrastructure in Kilkenny city linking the N77 to the R693, given that this is a long-standing priority for the local authority and TII; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7581/21]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

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 Council.

Any projects proposed by local authorities for consideration under the Strategic 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. Given the limited funding available for regional and local road improvement works it is important for local authorities to prioritise projects within their overall area of responsibility with these requirements in mind.

As required under the project appraisal guidelines, a preliminary Appraisal was submitted by Kilkenny County Council in December 2019. However, the revised Public Spending Code requires a Strategic Assessment Report (SAR) for all projects with an estimated expenditure of €10 million or more. The SAR is now a key deliverable at the first decision stage in the project appraisal process. Once completed, a SAR needs Departmental approval.