Dempsey must tackle crumbling roads, or lives will be lost – McEntee

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Dempsey must tackle crumbling roads, or lives will be lost – McEntee

Noel  Dempsey  must  make emergency funding available for local roads which
were  seriously  damaged  from the recent floods and deep freeze, otherwise
lives  will  be lost, Fine Gael Road Safety Spokesman Shane McEntee TD said.

“Some  of  the  roads I saw this week have almost completely disintegrated.
While  most  of  the national roads escaped the worst of the floods and the
frost, many back roads are now impassable to vehicles.

“Not  only  is  this  a  major inconvenience, it is also a very real safety
risk.  Some  30%  of  accidents are linked to road conditions. The state of
many of our local roads means that serious accidents are now inevitable.

“Yet  Minister  Dempsey  has  so far refused to take action. He has already
slashed  the  construction  budget  for  national  roads by 22%. And he has
refused to make any emergency funding available for local roads.

“A  spot  survey  of  funding  levels  being sought by local authorities to
repair their local roads shows the scale of the problem:

Limerick City Council has applied for €2 million;
Carlow County Council is seeking €7.5 million;
Meath County Council is seeking €4.4 million;
Westmeath County Council is seeking €2.5 million;
And  Wicklow  County  Council  estimates damage to local roads at €14
million.

“Accidents  will  happen  and  lives will be lost unless Noel Dempsey makes
emergency funding available to local authorities. In the week that a report
showed  that rural transport is non-existent in some areas, the local roads
network  is  the  only  remaining  link.  We cannot allow that last link to
collapse as well.”