Minister Moran welcomes grants for regional and rural roads

Minister of State and Longford/Westmeath TD, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran has welcomed news from Transport Minister Shane Ross of a two year Community Involvement Grant Programme for regional and local roads.

Westmeath County Council have been allocated €200,000 for 2018 and €236,000 in 2019, the full amount of grants applied for.

Minister Moran said the response to the scheme has been very high and funding has been provided over a two year period. This will allow a greater number of projects to go ahead and give local authorities more flexibility in delivering this programme.

“I would like to thank Minister Ross for his support and for delivering this funding. These works are very important to local communities in Longford and Westmeath and are vital for rural Ireland.”

Applications were sought from local authorities for suitable schemes for inclusion and the response from local authorities was very positive with a large number of proposals received. The average community contribution proposed is approximately 19 per cent.

In the normal course of a council’s road works programme, repairs to minor county roads would only be considered towards the end of the programme after more heavily trafficked routes had been dealt with and the purpose of the Community Involvement Scheme is to facilitate local participation in the repair of roads so as to allow improvements to be made sooner than might otherwise be the case.

The Community Involvement Programme will allow a wide range of works to be undertaken on regional and local roads. The proposed works include general works such as providing hard standing material at field entrances or removal of banks at the edge of a road, drainage works, road surface strengthening and repair works, the repair and construction of footways, the improvement of sight lines, the easing of bends and the provision of passing bays.

The Minister concluded: “I am very happy that both Longford and Westmeath County Councils submitted applications for funding as we all know that the fabric of the regional and local road network has suffered in recent years and this has impacted particularly on more lightly trafficked roads. I hope that this scheme will allow local authorities and communities to work together and I look forward to seeing the results of their combined efforts.”

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