Fianna Fáil Senator Paschal Mooney, has called on the Department of Transport to increase funding for the maintenance of regional and local roads. Senator Mooney, who is a member of the Oireachtas Transport Committee, has also called on the Government to facilitate negotiations between local authorities and unions with a view to hiring people employed in Community Employment (CE) Schemes to work on these roads.
Yesterday, the Oireachtas Transport Committee passed two motions proposed by Senator Mooney to this effect.
“Everyone knows of the perilous state of many of our local and regional roads,” said Senator Mooney.
“Government funding for maintenance of these roads has been cut dramatically in recent years. Yesterday at the Transport Committee, we heard that only 40% of necessary maintenance work currently takes place.
“We need a commitment from the Government to invest more money in the maintenance of local and regional roads. Rural Ireland has been neglected by this Government; we have already seen hundreds of rural Garda stations close; Post Office and bank branches have also closed and the rural transport network has also been curtailed. Rural people now need functioning roads more than ever and without investment these roads will only deteriorate further.
“This situation could be dramatically alleviated if workers employed in CE Schemes could be used to carry out drainage works on roads for example. There are on-going discussions between unions and local authorities in seeking a solution to this. If extra staff is needed to carry out remedial works on roads then CE Schemes should be seriously considered.”