Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Ceisteanna (272)

Rory O'Hanlon

Ceist:

315 Deputy Rory O’Hanlon asked the Minister for Transport the position regarding the upgrade of the road from Dundalk to Cavan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [37379/10]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Minister for Transport)

Proposals to deliver an upgraded route linking Dundalk to Sligo, taking in Cavan, involve linking elements of the national road network and regional roads along as direct a route as possible. Such a route is recommended in the National Spatial Strategy as a strategic national transport corridor. Essentially the route involves upgrade/realignment works on the regional routes from Dundalk to Cavan and on national routes from Cavan to Sligo. The latter would involve a route that passes through Northern Ireland. The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads, in its area, is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act, 1993. Works on such roads are a matter for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants.

Funding of the national roads sections of the route are a matter for the National Roads Authority (NRA) under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2007 in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.

As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme element of Transport 21.

Cavan County Council was allocated €600,000 in 2010 from the grant stream for Strategic Regional and Local Roads, to progress design and planning work on the section of road from Dundalk to Cavan. The Council's consultant has identified a route corridor and is now carrying out a constraints study so that a specific route alignment can be selected. It is also part of the consultant's brief to indicate what priority should be given to different sections of the road between Dundalk and Cavan.

Separately, the NRA has been asked to review investment needs for the national roads network into the future. This review is being carried out based on a commitment in the Renewed Programme for Government agreed in October last year. Its scope includes all matters surrounding national road development such as cross-section and routing. Progress on particular road schemes in 2011, and later years, will be dependent on the outcome of this review and the availability of funds within a reduced capital budget.