Funding crux leaves Listowel to put up with bone-shaker road
ONE of the busiest approach roads to Listowel is in a 'dreadful' state, but can expect little funding from on high as the NRA allocation for regional roads is now a fraction of what it once was.
North Kerry received €7 million from the National Roads Authority (NRA) for regional road works in 2004. This year, the whole region will receive just over €600,000.
The matter came before Listowel Town Council on Monday as Kerry County Council area engineer Mike Griffin outlined NRA spending for the area for the year. The town itself has received just €30,000 under the programme, for the construction of a roundabout and footpath improvements with the greater north Kerry area getting just €615,000.
Fianna Fáil councillor Jimmy Moloney pointed to the Abbeyfeale R555 approach to Listowel as being in dire need of funding. "It's in a dreadful state for an approach into town; it's really bad for traffic coming from the Limerick direction now," he said calling on the county council to address the matter.
Mr Griffin explained that the R555 had received significant funding in recent years, much of it going towards improvements in Duagh, which had to be prioritised at the outset of the R555 works as it was so bad. He said the decision to reduce the funding so drastically was taken in Dublin, despite the council outlining the need for it.
"I've nothing against the people of Duagh, but there's not much point funding a road that's as good as a runway and then you come into Listowel to be faced with that. The road there is a perfect disgrace... something is going to have to be done with it." Cllr Maria Gorman (Fianna Fáil) said.
"When we started the works, Duagh was in a worse condition than Woodford," Mr Griffin explained. "It was never a case of choosing the people of Duagh, nice and all as they are, over the people of Listowel, but it was so rough there that people were getting scared whenever artic trucks came through the village."
As an example of how bad it was when trucks passed through Duagh, Mr Griffin explained: "One man's door used to open!"