€10 million allocation for improvements to non-public rural roads

Pothole in east Cork
Pothole in east Cork
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, has announced that he will make €10 million available in a new round of funding for Local Improvement Schemes (LIS).

This will support the continued improvement of non-public rural roads that enable people to access their homes and farms.

The Government has now allocated over €47 million to Local Authorities under the LIS since he re-introduced the Scheme in September 2017.

Significantly, it has also announced that the 2019 LIS will include a cap of €1,200 on the amount that any individual householder or landowner will be asked to contribute towards the cost of repairs to their road.

Speaking in relation to the cap on contributions from individuals, the Minister said: “I am conscious of the high cost of repairing some of the more remote rural roads and the impact this can have on the contribution which people living and farming along those roads can be asked to make. As part of the scheme in 2019 I am placing a cap of €1,200 on the amount that any individual householder or landowner will be asked to contribute towards the cost of repairs.

“This small but important change to the scheme will, I believe, benefit many individuals and will facilitate the improvement of some of the more remote and sparsely populated roads in rural parts of the country.”

The Minister continued: “The scheme, since I reintroduced it in 2017, has been a great success and I continue to receive an unprecedented amount of positive feedback in relation to it. There was no dedicated funding for the LIS for a number of years, so there is significant built-up demand for investment in these roads which I am committed to meeting.

“Local Authorities are still completing projects approved under the last round of funding in October 2018, and I am now announcing additional funding for the scheme in 2019.”

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Minister Ring said: “This scheme continues to be a lifeline for people living in rural areas because it directly improves their access to and from their homes and farms. It is important to remember that many people living in rural areas use these roads every day, so when these roads fall into disrepair, it has a significant impact on them. By investing in the improvement of these roads we are helping to improve people’s quality of life in rural areas.

“The upkeep of these roads is a priority for people who live in rural Ireland and this funding, in conjunction with the local community's own resources and the resources of the Local Authorities, will allow for the maintenance and improvement of many local roads in rural areas."

Local authorities will be notified of their overall indicative allocation from the new €10 million round. The new round of funding will be released in two tranches;

1.      Once local authorities have certified completion of projects approved under the October 2018 announcement, 50% of the funding will be made available.

2.      The balance will be made available at a later stage, following completion of this next phase of projects.

The Minister concluded: “I cannot overstate how important local connectivity is in order to enable rural Ireland to function well. The Action Plan for Rural Development prioritises the improvement of rural infrastructure and connectivity and continuing to support and develop an LIS scheme is just one of the measures we are taking in that regard. “

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