26 January 2016
By Bryan Smyth
Sinn Fein General Election candidate Councillor Rachel McCarthy has called on the government to provide emergency funding for urgent repairs to the road infrastructure in County Cork, which are needed due to damage caused by recent storms and flooding.
Councillor McCarthy said that it is unacceptable that, as it stands, the government expects the repairs to be funded out of existing budget allocations.
Councillor McCarthy said;
“The government must provide emergency funding for repairs to the road network across the County Cork.
“The overall cost of the repairs to storm damaged roads, throughout the county, is estimated at €11.7 million. The figure is over €5 million for roads in the constituency of Cork South West alone. There is no way that Cork County Council can service these repairs out of existing budget allocations. That is the reality and the government needs to take the dire condition of our roads seriously.
“Taking the cost of the repairs out of the existing allocations will have a detrimental impact of the roads budget for the rest of the year. At our municipal meeting on Friday last we were were presented with a roads programme for the year. This included the resurfacing of Kilbrittain Village, which is long awaited. However, this programme will be completely dependent on the government giving us extra funding. So you can see how stretched the budget is already.
“I know that Cork County Council has written to the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, seeking emergency funding. I welcome this move and I am calling on the government to respond quickly by allocating the much needed finance.
“We cannot have people driving on roads that are in such a poor state and remain confident that accidents will not occur. The quality of the road infrastructure is crucial to rural areas. In the aftermath of the recent storms and flooding, it is time for the government to get serious about the extent of the road damage in Cork.”