Thursday, 28 November 2019

Ceisteanna (228)

David Cullinane


228. Deputy David Cullinane asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the estimated cost of a bypass road for Julianstown, County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [49487/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of the relevant County or City Council, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993. Works on those roads are funded from the Council's own resources supplemented by State road grants.

Prior to the financial crisis, applications for funding for road improvement projects would have been considered as part of the Specific Improvement, and Strategic Regional and Local Road Grant Schemes. However, the extent of the cutbacks in grant funding during the recession meant these grant schemes had to be curtailed after 2013 because expenditure on maintenance/renewal was falling well short of what was required to adequately maintain the regional and local road network.

Project Ireland 2040 does provide for the gradual build up in funding for the road network but it will take some time to reach the level required for the adequate maintenance and renewal of the network. For this reason there is limited scope at present for funding projects under the Specific and Strategic Grant Programmes. The primary focus is on implementation of the 12 regional and local road projects identified for development, subject to necessary approvals, in Project Ireland 2040.

Any additional projects proposed by local authorities for consideration under the Specific and Strategic Grant Programmes 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 and it is important for local authorities to prioritise projects within their overall area of responsibility with these requirements in mind. 

Under the capital project appraisal process a Preliminary Appraisal has to be submitted in relation to each proposed project.  Once an appraisal is received it is assessed taking into account other competing projects, the overall regional and local road capital budget and the wider transport planning framework.

A draft Preliminary Appraisal has been received from Meath County Council regarding traffic management in the Julianstown area.  This appraisal is currently being examined and the Department will be liaising with Meath County Council in relation to the further analysis required to underpin the assessment and costing of various options.