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.
Under the National Development Plan 2018-2027 (NDP) the main focus of funding for regional and local roads is on maintenance and renewal of the network with some limited investment in road improvements. In this context, while 12 improvement projects are scheduled to go ahead, subject to necessary approvals, over the next few years, my Department is not in a position to commit to additional major improvement schemes at this point. My Department is, however, liaising with Councils with a view to developing a pipeline of projects for possible future development.
My Department has provided some funding to Clare County Council in relation to the proposed Limerick Northern Distributor Road, with a view to bringing the project through the route selection stage and allow the local authority the possibility of preserving a route corridor to facilitate the possible development of the road in the long term. My Department is also facilitating the preparation and consideration of an economic and financial project appraisal of the scheme, including an assessment of the impact on the costs associated with the Limerick Tunnel PPP contract, in line with the requirements of the current Public Spending Code (PSC) and my Department's Capital Appraisal Framework (CAF).