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Sunday 21 January 2018

Road problems to get a hole lot worse

Michael Brennan Deputy Political Editor

THE state of our roads is going to get worse next year because of a €342m cut in last week's Budget.

The spending on road repairs and improvements will be scaled back after Transport Minister Leo Varadkar decided to reduce it from €885m to €542.5m.

Mr Varadkar has pointed out that the only options were deeper cuts in education, health and children's services and more taxes on people and business.

And he suggested that local authorities could make up some of the shortfall in their road repairs budgets with revenue from the new property tax.

Construction Industry Federation director general Tom Parlon said civil engineers were worried about the 39pc cut to the roads budget. "They believe that a lot of road surfaces will deteriorate and some of the stretches of road that need improving will go untended," he said. "That will have implications for road safety and for driving conditions."

Local authorities will have to cut back their maintenance on 500km of roadway unless they can come up with the funding themselves.

Mr Parlon predicted there would be "fewer improvements made, fewer potholes filled in and fewer other problems fixed throughout our road network".

Irish Independent

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