Cork East Fine Gael TD, David Stanton called for the Government to ensure that funding is available for vital road repairs. Deputy Stanton’s comments were made while questioning the Minister for Transport in the Dail this week.
“Just last week, the National Roads Authority (NRA), Chief Executive, Fred Barry, admitted that many of our national roads do not meet current design and construction standards and that secondary roads have very significant deficiencies. He attributed the poor road quality to inadequate funding, recommending that County Councils be given more resources and training.
“Despite this damning indictment of our national road network, it seems that the Minister for Transport has not yet decided to make more funding available to Councils improve road safety measures following the recent cold spell. When I asked if the Minister if he would be willing to liaise with the Councils to repair the roads, he stated it was each Council’s responsibility to decide on how to spend their road funding.
“Many roads are really in an appalling condition following the most recent bad weather. In some cases potholes are so severe that motorist cars are getting badly damaged. This is very unfair to motorists as car repairs are very costly, in particular when you take into account the recent rises in road tax, insurance and fuel prices this year. I firmly believe that the Minister needs to take more responsibility to this.
“Widespread road surface damage has also ead to very dangerous driving conditions for motorists and also pedestrians. In fact, the Road Safety Authority recently acknowledged that poor road conditions are to blame for as much as 3% of fatal road crashes, leading to as many as 20 deaths in 2008 and 2009 alone. This is simply not good enough.
“From a road safety perspective, it is essential that the Minister for Transport liaise with the NRA and the Councils to devise a scheme whereby vital road repairs can be conducted efficiently and effectively.