Fine Gael frontbench spokesperson Michael Creed TD, has called on the Transport Minister Noel Dempsey and Environment Minister John Gormley to reverse their decision not to provide emergency funding to repair roads damaged by the recent bad weather. Deputy Creed said the current state of the roads will cost lives if they are not repaired.
“This is not a matter of book keeping, it is a road safety issue and it’s crucial that a county wide road audit is undertaken immediately to establish where the most damage has been done. An Emergency Committee has now been set up to deal with the crisis, however Minister Gormley and Minister Dempsey have stated that there will be no additional funding made available to local authorities to carry out the work that is needed. “The N22 between Cork and Tralee is in a particularly poor state, specifically in Baile Mhic Íre/Baile Bhuirne and in the Farnanes area. This is one of the busiest roads in the Country, and is completely ripped apart due to the adverse weather conditions. I have made representations to the County Council and the NRA to take emergency action, in order to ensure the safety of motorists and pedestrians.”
“In last month’s Budget, the Government slashed the road maintenance budget by nearly 10%, making the current situation even more critical. Without additional financial assistance, local authorities will be unable to restore our roads adequately. Significantly the Macroom area office of Cork County Council, which has responsibility for the largest number of road kilometres in the County, received the smallest funding allocation for 2010. The Ministers responsible must act now”.