Thursday, 20 June 2013

Ceisteanna (262)

Michael Healy-Rae

Ceist:

262. Deputy Michael Healy-Rae asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will confirm that a councillor's allocation is not generally meant to be spent on routine maintenance, that is, filling of potholes and so on; if he will confirm that a councillor's allocation is so limited that it is unfair of any engineer to ask a member of the public to seek this funding for pothole repairs, the hedges on many of our own roads are nearly meeting in the middle of the road at this stage; if he will override the legislation in the Road Traffic Act that it is the landowner's responsibility to cut the hedges and allow councillors to use a councillor's allocation for sensible work, which would be cutting back hedges in the interest of road safety; if he will issue a directive to all county managers asking them to ensure that their engineers desist from the practice of directing members of the public to their local councillors to allocate funding for routine maintenance repairs; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29725/13]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is a statutory function of each road authority in accordance with the provisions of section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. The carrying out of works on these roads is a matter for the relevant local authority to be funded from its own resources supplemented by State road grants. The selection and prioritisation of road works to be funded from these State grants is also a matter for the local authority. In carrying our the selection and prioritisation of road works, individual councils should ensure as far as practicable that priority is given to projects most requiring attention in the county as a whole and are reminded in the Memorandum on Grants for Regional and Local Roads that projects should be prioritised based on engineering need and structural deficiency within their entire network of regional and local roads.

While the Department has no input into how a council allocates its own resources expenditure, it is hoped, particularly given the current financial circumstances, that this funding too is allocated to areas most in need. The area engineer, in consultation with elected members, is best placed to prioritise projects and how funding should be allocated from own resources expenditure and I do not intend to direct county managers on this issue. Under section 70 of the Roads Act 1993, it is the responsibility of landowners and occupiers of land to take all reasonable care to ensure that trees, hedges and other vegetation growing on their land are not a danger to people using or working on a public road. I have no plans to amend this legislation.