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.”