Ireland’s Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan, and Minister of State, Jack Chambers, have announced details of a €626 million investment programme for 2023 for regional and local roads.
This represents an increase in funding of €20 million for road pavement and rehabilitation works. The funding package will allow approximately 3,100 kilometres of regional and local roads to be maintained and 2,550 kilometres to be strengthened.
Minister for Transport, Eamon Ryan said: “Our main priority in 2023 continues to be the protection and renewal of the existing regional and local road network because that is the one thing you don’t curtail. It makes more sense to protect and repair our roads quickly rather than letting them fall into more expensive disrepair.
“We are providing funding for a range of schemes from larger strategic road improvements to smaller scale road improvements and critical bridge rehabilitation works. An important part of this allocation is the climate change adaptation grant which was introduced for works on roads at risk due to the impact of climate change and severe weather events. This funding will continue in 2023 with €16 million being allocated for 329 climate change adaptation projects. We have seen great progress because of this grant already. Some of the projects which will be completed in 2023 seawall repairs in Kinsale, Co. Cork, to embankment restructuring in Ballybunion, Co. Kerry.”
Minister of State Jack Chambers commented: “This funding is allocated to a broad variety of road maintenance and improvement aspects. €11 million is being allocated to road safety schemes that target remedial measures to improve road safety for vulnerable road users and vehicular traffic. This funding will allow in excess of 300 safety projects to be carried out. This also includes provision to continue on a signage programme which includes signage to support lower speed limits in housing areas, rural speed limit signage and a “safe passing” cycle sign.”
Provision of €44 million has been made available in 2023 for regional and local road strategic road improvement projects, including projects identified for development under the National Development Plan. Six NDP projects have been completed to date and the following NDP projects are currently at construction stage and incorporate elements of active travel. These include:
- Tralee Northern Relief Road, which includes 2 kilometres of footway and cycleways
- Athy Southern Distributor Road which will give pedestrian and cycling access to the grand canal blueway
- Killaloe bypass, Shannon Bridge Crossing and R494 Improvement Scheme. This includes 12.4 kilometres of foot and cycleways and would potentially provide access to the proposed Limerick to Scarriff greenway
Funding of €26 million is also being provided under the Specific Grant category for smaller scale road improvements. These grants comprise a mix of schemes, including bridgeworks, measures to improve safety, such as junction reconfiguration, together with schemes to alleviate traffic congestion in towns and improve access to centres of education, businesses and public transport such as the Edenderry Relief Road, County Offaly and Rice Bridge Rehabilitation, Waterford City.