Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Transport, Tourism and Sport Robert Troy TD says he is shocked to learn of extensive funding cutbacks for roads maintenance in 2018.
Deputy Troy made the comments after Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) took the extraordinary step of writing to Local Authorities to warn them that the Ordinary Maintenance Allocation for roads will plummet by 30% in 2018.
The overall national road current expenditure budget for 2018 is set to fall by 15% when compared to 2017.
Deputy Troy said, “This revelation is truly shocking. Minister Ross has spent much of his energy in recent weeks exclaiming loudly that he secured an increase in funding for his Department in Budget 2018. Now it transpires that officials in TII are writing to Local Authorities to warn them that funding for roads maintenance next year will be dramatically lower than what was allocated in 2017.
“I raised this issue with Minister Ross earlier today at the Oireachtas Transport Committee and he said he wasn’t even aware of the cutbacks and would have to get back to me on it with further information. It’s an astonishing situation.
“TII has acknowledged the significant impact that the scale of the reduction in Ordinary Maintenance Allocation will have on the delivery of services. There is no doubt about it, this cutback will have a damaging impact on our roads. Road users can expect to see more potholes and increased damage to their cars and higher repair costs in 2018.
“Road maintenance budgets have already suffered from significant cutbacks in recent years and this has had a detrimental impact on transport infrastructure. Minister Ross should be dramatically increasing the funding allocated for roads maintenance, but instead he is overseeing the implementation of damaging cutbacks.
“Minister Ross needs to review this issue as a matter of urgency. Where exactly is the additional money he secured in Budget 2018 actually going towards? It’s perfectly clear from the TII that it is not going towards roads maintenance budgets,” concluded Deputy Troy.