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
“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.”