Tipperary TD, Jackie Cahill raised the urgent need to invest in Tipperary’s roads as a matter of economic necessity in a recent Dáil debate with Minister for Transport, Shane Ross TD.
“Of course, I accept that we are emerging from a major recession, and that funding is tight, but I believe that we need to be thinking about the future, and that requires us to invest in our infrastructure now,” said the Fianna Fáil TD.
“The last election campaign showed us all that people in rural Ireland don’t believe that economic recovery reached their communities. They see their roads in a terrible state of disrepair, and wonder when they will get their fair share.”
"The 2016 Roads Allocation to Tipperary County Council is just over €21 million, but the Department of Transport estimate that at least €35 million is required to adequately maintain both regional and local roads across the county in decent condition.
"This means the government is underfunding the roads in Tipperary to the tune of 40% and has been for a number of years, which has left many roads in a very poor state of repair.”
“Tipperary is one of the largest counties in Ireland and has more secondary roads than other counties, and this needs to be reflected in the budget allocation.”
“What’s a deeply worrying issue in Tipperary is the poor state of our road network. It seems that they have been totally forgotten about and no funding is being allocated to their upkeep and improvement,” said Cahill.
“Every engineer across the county is being forced to make decisions based on funding available instead of need. They are many projects that desperately need to be started, but the County Council just don’t have the funding.”
“An efficient, quality road network is absolutely critical to our economic growth. Businesses will not locate in Tipperary if they are not confident of accessibility and connectivity.”
“The Minister needs to put in place a multi-annual roads budgets for Local Authorities so that they can plan and budget accordingly,” concluded Cahill.