Written Answers. - Roads Funding.

Bernard J. Durkan

Ceist:

121 Mr. Durkan asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government if the funds he has made available to Kildare County Council for road restoration or improvement are sufficient to meet the needs, particularly arising from winter damage; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10328/00]

I refer to the reply to Question No. 589 of 26 January 2000.

I am satisfied that Kildare County Council is receiving sufficient funding to support its responsibilities in relation to the non-national road network.

Kildare County Council has received significant and increasing non-national road grants from my Department in recent years – £5.062 million in 1997, £6.94 million in 1998, £7.698 million in 1999 and £9.322 million in 2000. The 2000 grant allocation represents an 84% increase on the 1997 grant payment. In the period from 1997 to 2000 the council's improvement grant has increased from £2.894 million to £4.374 million. Maintenance grants have increased from £773,000 to £1.11 million.

It is intended that these grants, together with the local authorities' own resources, should provide for the ongoing and special needs of local authorities, including requirements arising from exceptional weather conditions. My Department's memorandum on grants for non-national roads provides that the cost of remedial works necessitated by such conditions must be met from the above resources and that local authorities should set aside a contingency sum to finance these works.