€310m for pavement improvement and maintenance
€188m for road improvement schemes
€8.5m to address accident blackspots
€7.5m for regional road signposting
Athlone. 15 February 2008
Transport Minister Noel Dempsey, T.D., today announced details of the Governments record €618 million investment programme in the regional and local roads network for 2008. This is the biggest ever grant by Government for regional and local roads.
This year for the first time the Department of Transport assumed responsibility for the administration of this budget from the Department of the Environment.
Speaking today about the record investment programme, Minister Dempsey said:
"I am delighted to announce that a record level of funding is being allocated this year for the maintenance and improvement of our regional and local roads network. 94% of the countrys roads are regional or local. They carry about 60% of all road traffic and 40% of all goods traffic."
"This year we are celebrating 10 years of solid investment in our regional and local road network. Since 1996 road restoration works costing in excess of €1.75 billion have been undertaken benefiting 47,000 kilometres of road. In addition, a further €559 million has been spent over the past 10 years on road maintenance works to make our roads better and more importantly safer."
"This year Ive put road safety as a key plank of the non-national road allocations. The Governments new Road Safety Strategy published last October identified the importance of investment in the regional and local roads network. While safety is central to all road improvement and maintenance work I have specifically allocated €8.5 million in this years allocations to tackle accident blackspots. I have also prioritised €7.5 million for regional road signposting which will benefit all road users."
The Minister added: "I have allowed 50% of the total available funds - €310 million - for the Pavement Restoration Programme, which is intended to improve 2,500 kilometres of road this year and will surface dress a further 4,200 kilometres. In addition €188 million will be spent on over 300 specific road improvements schemes right around the country."
The Minister stressed the importance of local authorities in the improvement and maintenance of the regional and local roads network. State grants are a supplement to expenditure by the local authorities. All authorities need to maintain and even increase their own expenditure on their road networks."
Note for Editors
The 2007 - 2013 National Development Plan reflects the importance that the Government attaches to this network. The Plan provides for investment of €4.3 billion of Exchequer and Local Government Fund monies in regional and local roads. These funds will be aimed primarily at improving and maintaining the network and catering for investment in strategic routes.