€417m Allocated For 2018 Regional And Local Roads Investment Programme
The investment of €417 million towards Ireland’s regional and local roads for 2018 was announced today by Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross. This is a €93 million increase from 2017’s €324 million funding.
This year, local authorities will receive €1 million to further progress the implementation of 30km/h speed limits in housing estates across Ireland. A cut from last years €1.3 million.
Meanwhile, an increase in capital spending will result in a funding package, allowing for approximately 2300kms of regional and local roads to be maintained and 2100kms to be strengthened.
The main features of the investment programme include:
· €195m for road pavement strengthening works;
· €48m for surface dressing;
· €70.6m for maintenance and strengthening works for which Local Authorities have discretion in the selection of roads;
· €50.3m for Specific and Strategic Regional and Local Roads Projects;
· €9.7m for Bridge rehabilitation works;
· €7.1m for Safety Improvement Works;
· €10m for Drainage works;
· €10m for Community Involvement Schemes;
· €16m approx. of miscellaneous grants including, training, speed limit funding, severe weather repairs, salt purchase, road condition survey
On the announcement Minister Ross said:
“I am very happy to be able to announce a significant and much needed increase in grant allocations for regional and local roads this year. Overall 2018 will see a funding increase of about 29%. While the funding in 2018 will largely continue to support the maintenance of our current regional road network, expenditure on road improvements projects is expected to increase to about €50 million. A significant number of these projects have a safety focus, including the L2119 Bawnmore realignment in County Galway, the upgrade of R420 at Kilmullen in Laois, Fintra Bridge in Donegal, Robeen Cross junction improvement, County Mayo and R755 Calary Road realignment in County Wicklow.”
Emphasising that his main priority remains the maintenance and safety of the network, the Minister added that investment in maintenance and renewal will see an increase of about 18% in 2018, saying, “roads that are well-maintained lead to less costs for vehicle repair, a reduction in journey times and, crucially, they are safer for us all to travel on.”
The Minister noted that the 2018 investment programme also allows for a number of Capital Plan projects to progress, including projects added after extra funding was secured in the Capital Plan Review. A full list of these projects can be found here.
Minister Ross concluded:
“I would also like to emphasise again that I consider that local authorities are best placed to assess priorities within their areas and considerable autonomy is therefore given to local authorities under grant headings to decide their work programme. I would also explain that these grants supplement local authorities own resources expenditure on regional and local road projects and do not represent the total investment in regional and local roads for this year.”