Tuesday, May 21, 2013

FG TDs welcome allocation for Meath roads under the Community Involvement Scheme

Highest allocation goes to Meath in recognition of the dire state of the county’s roads

Fine Gael Meath TDs have this morning (Monday) welcomed the allocation of €1,549,868 under the Community Involvement Scheme which will be used to repair lesser trafficked rural roads in the county. This announcement follows on from a meeting the TDs had last week with the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport, Leo Varadkar TD, where they raised the state of the roads in Meath and pushed for action on the matter.

Speaking this morning, Deputy Regina Doherty said: ‘The roads in Meath are among the worst in the country, with an estimated €20 million needed to bring them up to standard. Obviously that amount is not available but the nationalisation of the Community Involvement Scheme (CIS) will help to bridge the gap. Meath had lodged applications for 11 projects and all of them have been awarded. This demonstrates and confirms a serious response by Government to this issue which is impacting greatly on commuters and motorists in Meath’.

Deputy Helen McEntee said: ‘The roads in Meath, and particularly North Meath, have been in a particularly dire state since the bad weather last year. The fact that Meath has been allocated the most amount of money of all counties is an acknowledgement of the scale of the problem facing the people of Meath. A total allocation of €10.5 million nationally has been made available and Meath has been given access to more than €1.5 million. Three quarters of a million euro has been recommended for this year and €800,000 in 2014. I know the people of Meath will be forthcoming in playing their part in getting the Meath roads up to speed.

Deputy Damien English said: ‘The CIS allows communities to contribute to the cost of the repair and maintenance of local roads by providing of a portion of the funding or the supply of labour or machinery, with the Council making up the rest. This scheme has already been in place in some local authorities but today’s announcement sees the roll-out nationally of what is a very worthwhile initiative. This scheme allows for the speedier upgrading of roads that ordinarily would be much further down the list of priorities. It is incumbent on us to be more creative in finding solutions to the challenges of maintaining local roads. We must use our imagination to get the problems sorted and to make good use of any stimulus funding that may be available. This scheme ticks all those boxes.’

Deputy Ray Butler said: ‘In the last number of weeks, myself and my colleagues met with the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar TD, local Fine Gael councillors and members of the North Meath Action Group Committee to discuss the poor state of the roads in Meath so I am delighted that this funding has been announced today. By allowing local communities to get involved in this way, we can ensure that roads which may have been ignored will get the attention they need. The overall cost of the works in Meath is €1,937,335 over two years, with 23kms of road set to be improved. Meath County Council has been approved for the total amount of funding applied for which is great news. This scheme will allow the people of Meath to get on with getting potholes filled on local roads and will give them a real sense of involvement in bettering their local communities.”

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