The Minister for Transport has responsibility for overall policy and Exchequer funding in relation to the national roads programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2015, and in line with the national development plan, NDP, the management and improvement of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland, TII, in conjunction with local authorities.
A key priority in the NDP, in line with the Department’s investment hierarchy, is to maintain the quality of the existing national road network. This consists of about 5,300 km of national roads, including 1,000 km of motorways, connecting Ireland’s cities and regions. I take the Deputy's point about ensuring that we have that connectivity. The NDP foresees Exchequer expenditure of about €2.9 billion on the protection and renewal of these national roads over the period to 2030. Such investment is required to keep the national road assets at a safe and robust level for all users. Investment in existing road assets can also assist in retrofitting them where applicable, for example by providing new bus lanes. Further, approximately €5.1 billion will be spent on new national road projects over the lifetime of the revised NDP to 2030. This funding will enable improved connectivity across the country, as well as compact growth, which are core components of the revised NDP.
The improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority and works on those roads are funded from councils' own resources, supplemented by Exchequer grants where applicable. Grant support provided by the Department under the regional and local road grant programme is focused primarily on the protection and renewal of the network and the NDP makes provision for expenditure of €5.35 billion on this in the period to 2030. Provision is also being made for expenditure of €677 million on targeted road improvements for that period. Within the context of the capital ceilings set for the Department and its delivery agencies, the funding allocation for new public transport and new roads is in keeping with the agreement in the programme for Government. A 2:1 ratio will be maintained between new public transport investment and new road investment.