Brendan Smith: More funding needed for upgrading regional, local roads and laneways

Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan and Monaghan, Brendan Smith, has renewed his appeal to the Government to provide additional funding this year for the upgrading of regional and local roads and laneways.

Deputy Brendan Smith commented, “This road network is extremely important in rural Ireland and is vitally important to the local people that use them every single day.”

Speaking in Dáil Eireann to Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform, Michael McGrath, the Cavan and Monaghan TD stated: “I would strongly urge again this year, in the event of an underspend in Departments or statutory agencies resulting in a reallocation of funding, that priority be attached to further much-needed investment in regional and local roads and laneways. 

“A reallocation to local authorities during the summer can bring benefits to many communities and households. As the Minister knows, these roads are of the utmost importance, especially in rural Ireland. The local authorities will have the construction capacity to spend more money once they are notified in good time, and such taxpayers’ funding can be put to good use in the best interests of many communities in every county.”

In response, Minister McGrath stated: “I acknowledge this is an issue Deputy Smith has consistently raised, and I recall our meeting with local authority members for the Cavan-Monaghan area last year. It is also the case that, given the current cost of resurfacing works and with bitumen, an oil-based product, being particularly expensive, the work we did in reforming the public works contract, including in respect of energy, will be important to make sure we have a comprehensive road resurfacing and maintenance programme over the course of the summer. 

“I recognise the importance of the non-national road network. The Deputy has made the case for improved funding for local improvement scheme, LIS, projects in the past, as well as other local and regional schemes. I will engage with the Minister, Deputy Ryan, in regard to funding,” concluded Minister McGrath.