Donegal’s regional and local roads have been allocated a €33 million share of a €417 million national investment programme for 2018.
This grant funding is a marginal increase on previous years, with €10m set aside to assist with road repairs in Inishowen. The €10m ‘Severe Weather’ grant was allocated for urgent work required in areas worst hit by the Inishowen flooding of August 22nd.
The grants cover all local roads improvements and maintenance, along with bridge restorations and safety improvement measures.
The funding is not enough to meet the needs of local and regional roads in Donegal, according to Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher. He said: “Overall the allocation will not meet the legacy needs of the county’s infrastructure which due to under investment, is coming under severe pressure.”
“The real terms increase of just over €2 million, will still fall short of the needs of the county’s regional and county roads.
Pat the Cope called on the Department to grant more funding to Donegal later in the year to help bring the roads up to standard:
He added: “Additional resources must be obtained for Donegal roads in order to maintain the vast road network we have within the county – we have a backdrop of under investment on our roads network between 2011 and present – further investment will be needed and an accelerated investment programme on our roads will be required on a multiannual basis and therefore I request the Department to make an additional announcement of resources for Donegal in the course of 2018 from internal savings.”
Meanwhile, Government Minister Joe McHugh has welcomed the funding increase and highlighted the €40million which was already announced for major routes in 2018.
Minister McHugh said: “I was delighted to see Donegal receive €33M in funding for our local and regional roads. This is on top of the €40m I announced for major routes like the N56.
“Some €10M of this allocation will go towards repairs in Inishowen following last August’s floods with further works required in 2019. Excluding the extra funding for Inishowen, this package represents a €3M increase on 2017.
“This funding will allow safety improvement works to be carried out throughout the county in Killybegs, Fintra, Cockhill, Tirconnell Bridge, Bunbeg, Carrigart, Doochary, Meenaclady, Annagry, Malin Head, Porthall, Windyhall and Listillion
“Fine Gael in Government is also committed to reducing deaths on Irish roads. These roads are used by families every day and are essential for connecting people locally.
“This funding will be used to maintain and improve local roads. It is essential that our infrastructure is capable of meeting the demands of our expanding economy.
Speaking on the announcement Minister for Transport Shane Ross said: “I am especially pleased that the 2018 grant allocations include important initiatives in the area of Community Involvement Schemes and Drainage.
“While local authorities were able to use general grants for such schemes in recent years, this year ring-fenced funding is being provided. These are two areas where I have very much wanted to take action and I am very glad to be able to do so this year. There needs to be an increased focus on measures to improve the resilience of the road network in the face of climate change.”Tags: