Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport, Timmy Dooley TD, has responded to today’s announcement that €42 million of Government funding for local authorities can now be diverted for emergency road repair work.
Deputy Dooley commented: “While any move to direct more resources towards tackling the chronic problem of potholes and the poor quality of roads would be welcome, there has been little or no fresh funding announced.
“Local authorities are still being told to find funding from within their existing budgets to use for emergency road maintenance. Every city and county council in the country has taken a hit to their overall budget allocation this year and many are at breaking point. While they can now divert funds from the Restoration Improvement Grant for the road maintenance, it will no doubt mean some other area will lose out.
“Another disappointing element of this announcement by Minister Varadkar is the revelation that no new funding will be forthcoming for capital projects over the next number of years. Capital investment acts as a stimulus for the economy and it creates local jobs. The significance of such projects should not be overlooked.
“Today’s announcement has more to do with the forthcoming Meath East bye-election than any attempt to deal with an emerging crisis on Ireland’s roads. When you look past the headlines you quickly learn there is no substance to this announcement.”