FUNDING for works on local and regional roads has been cut by almost 20pc.
Some €332m will be provided to local authorities to help maintain roads this year, a cut of 17pc, with Transport Minister Leo Varadkar warning that the bulk of the funding will be used to repair damage caused by winter storms.
The funding will be used to maintain 1,900kms of road, to upgrade another 2,156 kms to be strengthened and complete 245 low-cost safety projects.
In addition, works on 162 bridges will also be carried out.
Mr Varadkar said given the lack of resources, there was “little scope” for local authorities to deliver improvement projects.
“The focus on road maintenance and repair comes against a backdrop of ongoing limited resources and an overall cut of 17pc this year on the 2013 funding,” he said.
“As a consequence, new schemes focused on improvement rather than maintenance will be curtailed for 2014. Our priority is to maintain the existing road network, and unfortunately there is little scope for carrying out new road improvement projects.”
Local authorities can also spend money from their own resources on roads. Last year, some €829m was spent on road transportation and safety by councils.