Protecting existing road network is most practical use of limited budget – Daly

Fine Gael TD for Cork South West, Jim Daly, has today (Friday) welcomed the announcement by Minister Leo Varadkar that priority to be afforded to the maintenance and drainage of rural roads. Deputy Daly raised the issue in a Dáil debate recently with Minister Varadkar and is delighted the Minister has responded to his call to personally get involved in addressing the issue of maintenance of rural roads.

“I am pleased the Minister has responded positively to my call to allow local Authorities much greater flexibility in allocating road budgets throughout the local area offices. Local engineers are today welcoming the discretion being afforded to them in prioritising rural roads for increased maintenance and drainage works.

“Under the changes announced today by Minister Varadkar, Local Authorities are being urged to use a greater portion of their funding from the Local Government Fund towards maintaining tertiary roads. The local Area Offices will also have greater discretion on how the monies allocated for road projects can be spent. Maintenance of rural roads will be given priority this year, ahead of restoration works such as road widening and the removal of dangerous bends. This is a very welcome development.

“I have long argued for the Minister to personally intervene and re-focus the allocation of his Department’s road budget allocations towards the essential maintenance of rural roads. I am delighted with today’s developments which I regard as a significant shift in policy at both local and national level.

“We have to be more creative with how we manage the very limited budgets for road maintenance and I believe that today’s announcement by Minister Varadkar is a recognition of this.”