Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Meath County Council to receive €2.1 million for road repairs


Fine Gael Meath TDs have today (Tuesday) welcomed confirmation from the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar TD, that Meath County Council is being allocated €2.1 million for the repair of regional and local roads across the county.

The allocation has been made following consistent calls by Deputies Damien English, Ray Butler, Regina Doherty and Helen McEntee, for additional funding for Meath roads. The Deputies held a meeting with the Minister last month urging him to make monies available to Meath County Council. The €2.1 million is being provided for surface restoration works. However, if Meath County Council wants to progress particular safety schemes urgently, it can apply to the Department of Transport to use some of the funds on that basis.

Deputy Ray Butler said: ‘This is a very significant allocation for Co. Meath, and indeed it is one of the largest allocations received by any local authority outside out of our cities. We have been making the case with Minister Varadkar that Meath roads deserve considerable attention, and this allocation makes is clear that our concerns have not been ignored’.

Deputy Helen McEntee said: ‘I am very optimistic that this funding will make a considerable difference to the state of the roads in north Meath and across the county. This money is being made available through the sale of State assets, which is to be welcomed. Being in a bailout has constrained our borrowing ability, but once we exit the programme at the end of this year, we will be in a much better position to borrow money to tackle a range of issues, such as the poor state of our roads’.

Deputy Regina Doherty said: ‘The funding is being provided directly to Meath County Council, taking into account the length of roads to be repaired and the amount the Council spends itself on road repairs, which is considerable. The work needs to be completed this year, so an immediate improvement should be apparent on the most damaged roads. Areas such as north Meath and Slane should be prioritised when Meath County Council is selecting roads for repair. This funding will help to address the problems on Meath roads. But I have no doubt that further funding will be needed, especially given the high density of roads in Meath, and I will continue to work with my colleagues to secure it’.

Deputy Damien English said: ‘This €2.1 million must be spent by Meath County Council this year, and should be used for surface restoration. While this money is being provided directly by the Government, it is important that the Council continues to spend their own resources on the local road network. This will be taken into account when allocations are being made by the Government for 2014. In the meantime, I look forward to the difference this funding will make in improving the condition of roads across the county’.

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