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Written Answers - Road Network

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 752 No. 2

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 302.  Deputy Michael Healy-Rae Information on Michael Healy-Rae Zoom on Michael Healy-Rae  asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar  if he will reconsider the decision to discontinue the money for local roads improvement scheme as it will hurt every county in Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3081/12]

Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport (Deputy Leo Varadkar): Information on Leo Varadkar Zoom on Leo Varadkar The current expenditure for regional and local roads will be reduced significantly over the next few years. Cuts of the magnitude proposed necessitated that some very good and worthwhile projects be curtailed.

In making adjustments to the regional and local roads budget the primary aim has been, as far as is possible, to protect previous investment in the road network and use the available funding to maintain and restore public roads, including those in rural areas.

To that end, it was necessary to discontinue grants under the Local Improvements Scheme achieving a saving of €5 million. While the importance of this scheme to rural communities and in assisting local development projects on non-public accommodation roads is acknowledged, the maintenance and improvement of these roads is, in the first instance a matter for the relevant landowner.

Given that the priority in using scarce resources in the current difficult economic climate is to maintain public roads it is not possible to assist with any works on non-public roads and [410]therefore this scheme has been suspended and not abolished. If and when the financial position of the State improves, it will be possible to re-open this scheme.

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