independent

Saturday 19 April 2014

Roads being repaired only on a ‘patchwork basis’, says damning report

MANY of the country’s roads have badly deteriorated and are only being repaired on a “a patchwork basis”, a hard-hitting new report finds.

Non-motorway and national secondary roads got a poor ‘D’ grade in a scorecard of the country’s infrastructure carried out by Engineers Ireland.

“The links that pull the rest of the traffic onto the motorways are not of sufficient quality, or are non-existent,” according to ‘The State of Ireland 2013’ report published today.

Only one new strategic road project the N5 Ballaghaderreen bypass started last year, with other major schemes postponed.

The report says: “The quality of non-motorway infrastructure has deteriorated and has been repaired only on a patchwork basis.”

Roads that were repaired in the 1990s need to be fixed again because of insufficient investment, well below international levels.

While motorways get a ‘B’ score in the audit, all other roads are rated ‘D,’ well below par.

Overall, the entire road network got a ‘C’ grade.

The report is also critical of the fact that no new motorway rest and refuelling areas have been built recently on the motorway network.

It is imperative that maintenance regimes are put in place to continue improving the quality of national primary and secondary roads, and regional roads, it concludes.

Ideally, the road system should be developed further to link the coastal cities of Waterford, Cork, Limerick and Galway known as the Atlantic Corridor.

“According to the IMF, EU and ECB, implementation of investment programmes should be accelerated, not cut,” the report adds.

Communications infrastructure, allocated a ‘B+’ grade, achieved the best mark of the five areas evaluated.

Waste and energy infrastructure received a ‘B’ grade, while water got a ‘C.’

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