€50M to repair 600km of road surfaces under Govt plan – Varadkar

Launching the stimulus plan: Minister Varadkar, Public Expenditure Minister Brendan Howlin, Housing Minister Jan O’Sullivan, and Education Minister Ruairi Quinn.

A €50 million boost to repair regional and local road surfaces has been announced today by Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport Leo Varadkar as part of the Government’s Investing in Infrastructure & Jobs plan.

“I am allocating a further €50 million for repairs and restoration of regional and local roads. The work will be carried out this summer and autumn. This funding will be provided directly to local authorities, which can start work on the repairs as soon as they receive the grants,” Minister Varadkar said.

This additional €50 million will be a welcome boost for the road improvement programme and will allow repairs and renewal of road surfaces on an extra 600km of roadway. The proposed funding will be allocated to councils for use primarily on the restoration of road pavements (road surfaces as opposed to footpaths). This comes on top of the €350 million which was allocated to pavement works at the beginning of the year.

“My Department is very conscious that two successive severe winters have taken their toll on the road network. While resources are limited, there is a risk that roads can deteriorate quite rapidly and are expensive to repair if repairs and maintenance are not carried out. This additional funding will help to address the shortfall in this area.

“At this point, I would once again like to remind local authorities that they also have a responsibility to allocate their own resources to road maintenance as they have primary responsibility for these roads under the Roads Acts. For this reason, local authorities will be allocated funding based on the length of road in their county as before, but with a top-up for councils that have a good record of investing their own resources in road maintenance in recent years.”

Minister for Public Expenditure & Reform Brendan Howlin said: “Although the public finances are severely constrained, it is important that we build for the future. It is absolutely vital for our long-term well-being and prosperity that children have proper school buildings in which they can learn, that our roads are safe and well-maintained and that local authority housing is as energy efficient as possible. I am delighted to be able to make this funding available.”