'I've seen the state of Ireland's roads' - Taoiseach on pothole crisis
An Taoiseach Leo Varakar has said he travelled the country over the Dail’s Easter break and saw first hand the impact of poor road conditions particularly on people living in rural areas.
In the Dail, yesterday the Taoiseach said he travelled to Limerick, Galway, Tipperary, Laois, Meath, Kildare and north County Dublin over the Easter break.
“The issue of the condition of local and regional roads has been raised by citizens everywhere I go and that many such roads are in very bad condition: there are many potholes and ruts and many vehicles are being damaged.
“That is due to a combination of under investment in our roads during the dark years of the recession - the lost decade during which we did not have the money to invest in our public infrastructure - and also the very bad weather that we have experienced in recent times,” he said.
More than 12,200km of the local and regional road network is now in urgent need of upgrading because it is in "severe structural distress" with deep potholes and crumbling surfaces, which in some cases has resulted in carriageways being "virtually undriveable".
A survey of the network by local authorities, published by the National Oversight and Audit Commission (NOAC), suggests that funding for local and regional road maintenance will have to double to prevent further deterioration.
But the report does not take into account the severe impact of Storm Emma last month, as local authorities have yet to fully assess the damages arising from days of sub-zero temperatures.