The Local Improvement Scheme, or LIS, is a programme for improvement works on small private or non-public roads in rural areas which are not under the normal maintenance of the Local Authorities. The scheme is funded by my Department and is administered through the Local Authorities.
Since I reintroduced the Scheme in 2017, I have granted over €48 million to the Local Authorities to deliver the scheme. This resulted in over 2,000 road projects being approved for works.
Carlow County Council was allocated over €1.2 million of the total funding and I understand this has supported the completion of works on 62 roads in the county. This year alone, my Department awarded €250,000 to County Carlow under the LIS.
The LIS is clearly a very popular scheme and is greatly appreciated by the people who use these roads on a daily basis. The works which are carried out not only improve access for the people who live or work on those roads, but they also improve access for service providers, including the emergency services.
Projects prioritised by the Local Authority can include roads leading to important community amenities such as graveyards, beaches, piers or heritage sites.
I intend to fund the LIS scheme again in 2020 and a budget of €10 million has been secured for this purpose. This matches the funding provided in 2019.
The exact level of funding to be provided to each Council in 2020, including Carlow County Council, will be confirmed when the scheme is announced next year.