Funding for repair of local roads a welcome development — Burke

Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael TD, Deputy Peter Burke has welcomed the allocation of €334,000 in funding to assist the repair of regional and local roads in Westmeath.

“Many of the regional and local roads in south Westmeath have suffered significant damage as a result of severe weather events, and in some cases the local authority has been faced with damage caused by repeated severe weather incidents.

“I warmly welcome the additional funding support of €334,000 to assist Westmeath County Council in progressing repairs to affected regional and local roads before the year end. This will mean motorists and pedestrians are a lot safer on our roads as the winter approaches," Deputy Burke remarked.

Deputy Burke referenced the impact of severe weather events on the local and regional roads within the county.

“Extreme weather events over the last year, such as Storm Eleanor, Storm Emma, flooding incidents, and the summer drought have had a major impact on the regional and local road network.

“I commend the local authority and ESB workers who were out making the network safe for us during these difficult conditions.

"These events, combined with the extended period of reduced funding for road maintenance following the economic downturn, have left the road network much more vulnerable to damage.

“I know this funding will greatly assist in the repairs and ensure our road network in Westmeath is of the highest standard.”

In addition, a €3m allocation is being provided to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII ) to assist with winter operations and maintenance works on national roads. TII assists local authorities with maintenance funding for national roads.

This additional funding boosts the regional and local road budget in 2018 from €417m to €432m which represents an increase of 33 per cent on the 2017 investment. These grants are to supplement local authorities’ own resources and expenditure on regional and local road and are just part of the total investment in regional and local roads for this year.

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