Fianna Fáil TD for Wexford James Browne has called on the Minister for Transport Shane Ross to restore the Local Improvement Scheme. The scheme was suspended by the previous Fine Gael / Labour Government in 2011.
Deputy Browne said, “The purpose of the Local Improvement Scheme is to provide funding for the upkeep and repair of isolated roads and lanes which have not been taken in charge by local authorities. The scheme was vital in keeping isolated people connected to their local community before the previous Fine Gael / Labour Government decided to effectively suspend it indefinitely.
“I recently raised this matter with Minister Ross in the Dáil and asked him to reinstate funding for the scheme. To date the Minister has refused to ring-fence funding for the scheme, despite the fact that many rural roads and laneways are in an awful state of disrepair. The Minister has indicated that he would like to get the scheme up and running again by the end of 2017, but I believe we need to see immediate action on this.
“Our manifesto makes a clear commitment to invest €4.5m in the scheme on an annual basis. This sum of money would provide much needed funding to get rural roads and laneways back up to an acceptable standard. We remain committed to this proposal and I’ll continue to pursue the matter with Minister Ross in the Dáil.”