Connaughton welcomes new flexibility on road maintenance

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8th March 2013

A change to the way funding is allocated for rural roads was welcomed this week by East Galway T.D. Paul Connaughton.

‘Anyone using the roads in rural parts of East Galway will be only too aware of the need for a real focus on road maintenance following harsh winters and exceptionally high rainfall levels in recent years. Today’s announcement by Minister Varadkar that County Councils are to have greater flexibility in how funding is allocated to rural roads is, I believe, a common sense approach to the issue as County Council staff are the people best placed to know where road maintenance is required.

‘Today’s announcement includes a fund of €8,130,572 for restoration improvement on the county’s roads, and of that figure, over €2.4 million can be reallocated for emergency repair work on local and regional roads.  An allocation of €181,679 has also been made in relation to drainage.

‘Heavy rainfall has resulted in surface water, which in turn has undermined many roadsand is causing potholes to appear.  This issue has to be addressed and I believe that motorists, cyclists and pedestrians in County Galway will recognise that we need to focus on this problem and address it before moving on to other bigger projects.

‘This initiative came about after Minister Varadkar met with personnel from local authorities and they accepted that there is no extra funding available, but did ask for greater flexibility in how the money they do receive can be spent and in particular highlighted the declining condition of many local roads.

‘With resources decreasing in all areas, it is increasingly imperative that all funding is spent prudently, in areas where it is most needed and I believe that this is one further example of using a common sense approach to ensure that the best results are achieved with scarce resources for the road users of County Galway.’