independent

Tuesday 20 August 2019

€280,000 hole in road as funding goes to pot

THE latest cut of €278,960 to the county's road grant was criticised at the meeting.

Director of Services for Roads, Eamonn Hore said the non national road grant cut will have serious consequences.

'This comes on top of grant allocation cuts from 2008. We have a valuable infrastructure and if we don't receive the funding it would be seriously compromised over the coming years.'

Cllr Michael Sheehan said the cut will have enormous consequences and could curtail investment in the county. He also criticised the 'underhanded way' in which the community involvement scheme was discontinued.

'With the dissolution of the town councils we inherited a larger area in New Ross but we didn't inherit the budget.'

Cllr Kathleen Codd Nolan suggested meeting with the Minister for Transport on the matter.

Mr Hore said the council would have to use 7.5 per cent of its roads grant to fund the community involvement scheme but that would result in roads not getting worked on. 'We need the €1m grant so that's another €1m we are down and I don't think we can take a hit on the roads.'

Cllr Paddy Kavanagh urged all Oireachtas members to attend the meeting with the minister.

He said local communities did great work restoring roads under the scheme.

Cllr Fergie Kehoe said the decision to disband the scheme and reduce funding was merely an election ploy, suggesting that funding for both would be reinstated well in advance of voting day.

Cllr James Browne said the lack of funding for the county's roads is reaching a point of no return.

'It's becoming a health and safety issue in terms of cars on the road and frontline services.'

County Manager Tom Enright said providing maintenance of the county's road surfaces is among the most important functions of the local authority.

'We are carrying out road surfacing every 20 odd years instead of every seven years. The roads are becoming structurally weak and it's a false economy. We will do whatever we can to try to secure additional funding.'

Mr Hore said if more funding isn't provided the roads in the county will be so bad that they will have gone beyond 'the point of no return'.

Wexford People

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