€10 million to be pumped into Offaly roads in 2019
The Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Shane Ross TD, has announced details of a €483 million investment programme for 2019 for regional and local roads.
The funding includes almost €10 for Offaly roads, including €285,000 for an inner relief road in Edenderry, €344,000 for restoration maintenance and €165,000 for a pilot scheme to test roads on peat.
Offaly funding announced by the Department of Transport:
Minister Ross said: “The announcement will see a further significant increase in grant funding for regional and local roads. Overall funding will increase by about 16% this year. This increase in funding should allow approximately 2,400kms of regional and local roads to be maintained and 2,150kms to be strengthened this year.”
The Minister continued; “Building better roads can change lives, but investing in safer roads will save lives. The campaign to change attitudes to drink driving, speeding, phone use and seatbelt wearing must be accompanied by Government delivering major funding for quality road investment if our roads are to be safer for all, and I am glad to say we are doing that.
The Minister indicated that his main priority remains investment in the maintenance and renewal of the regional and local road network. The Minister said: “Last year specific funding was ring-fenced for drainage works to help promote increased network resilience. This grant has been very well received by local authorities and the amount available for drainage works will double this year to €20 million. In addition funds are being set aside to assist with the purchase of velocity patching machines to further support local authorities’ road repair programmes.”
“I would also like to emphasise again that I consider that local authorities are best placed to assess priorities within their areas and considerable autonomy is therefore given to local authorities under the maintenance and renewal grant headings to decide their work programme. I would also explain that these grants supplement local authorities own resources expenditure on regional and local road projects and do not represent the total investment in regional and local roads for this year.”
The funding has been welcomed locally with Cllr Eddie Fitzpatrick saying, "this funding is very much welcomed at this time" but stressed "much more is required to improve our road infrastructure especially across north Offaly and also for safety measures such as traffic calming in areas of high volumes of traffic movement to ensure safety for pedestrians and motorists."
He welcomed the fact that Walsh Island and Rhode had been granted funding under the 2019 Bridge Rehabilitation works on regional and local roads, and that Bracknagh National School had been awarded €35,000 under 2019 safety improvement works to ensure safety.
Cllr Noel Cribbin said: " I certainly welcome the recent announcement by Minister Ross of a 16% increase in Offaly’s roads allocation. This should equate to over €3 million euro for north Offaly, again an increase from €2.5 million in 2018."
"Restoration improvements get the biggest share at €4.75 million, restoration maintenance at €871,000, community involvement scheme at €656,000 and an interesting sum of €165,000 for a pilot scheme testing on roads over peat.
"With over 50% of our roads in north Offaly built over peat, I will certainly be looking for that money to be piloted on one of our many bog roads," Noel said.
"We will be having our roads allocation meeting in the coming weeks as to where we will prioritise and spend this money on our roads in North Offaly for 2019 and whilst it’s a huge sum of money, it has to cover over 550 kilometres of roads," Cllr Cribbin said.
Cllr Cribbin will be looking for monies and works to be carried out in the likes of Father Paul Murphy Street, Colmcille Road, St Francis Street, Fr Kearns Street, Ballycolgan, Little Island road to Daingean and Ballybrittan Bridge.