No new cash to fix flood roads, says Taoiseach
TAOISEACH Brian Cowen last night said local authorities would have to use existing government grants to repair roads damaged in the cold snap.
Mr Cowen said officials should prioritise surface dress repair work rather than new road development.
The comments come as concern mounts over the damage done to roads following extreme ice and flooding in recent weeks.
It has been suggested such repairs could exceed €150m and some councils have called on the Government to provide extra funding.
The coalition has been urged to provide funding on a per-kilometre basis which, if introduced, could benefit counties with large road networks.
Fine Gael leader Enda Kenny yesterday pointed out the rainbow coalition provided an exceptional fund for the repair of roads when it was in power.
A similar type of emergency funding was now required to bring the country's roads back to their previous state, he said.
However, Mr Cowen insisted any repairs would have to be taken out of the allocation already given to the local authorities.
"The situation has arisen as a result of the recent adverse weather," he told the Dail. "Obviously there is now an assessment taking place about the damage that has been done on national and regional roads."