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For Oral Answer on : 30/11/2023
Question Number(s): 22,278 Question Reference(s): 51886/23, 51887/23
Department: Transport
Asked by: David Stanton T.D.
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QUESTION


* To ask the Minister for Transport if he is in receipt of a funding application from Cork County Council to repair local bridges damaged by recent flooding as a result of Storm Babet; when he expects to be in a position to make a decision on the application; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– David Stanton T.D.


For ORAL answer on Thursday, 30 November, 2023.

* To ask the Minister for Transport if he is in receipt of a funding application from Cork County Council to repair local roads damaged by recent flooding as a result of Storm Babet; when he expects to be in a position to make a decision on the application; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

– David Stanton T.D.


For ORAL answer on Thursday, 30 November, 2023.

REPLY


As the Deputy is aware, the improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads is the statutory responsibility of each local authority, in accordance with the provisions of Section 13 of the Roads Act 1993.  Works on these roads are funded from Councils’ own resources and supplemented by State Road grants. The Department emphasises to local authorities each year the importance of setting aside a contingency fund to manage events such as severe flooding. 

Storm Babet has caused significant damage to the regional and local road network in Cork and it will take time to assess the full extent of the impact on the road network. Cork County Council is presently liaising with my department’s road engineers to provide initial damage assessments and estimated repair costs. Noting the extent of damage and the associated potential costs occurred towards the end of the annual work programme, the Department is aware that most of the Council’s funds in this financial year are expended or committed and any level of reprioritisation of work is limited. 

For this reason, Cork County Council have been allocated a Severe Weather Grant of €350,000 to support immediate emergency repairs and facilitate the opening of some key roads. Prompt restoration of the road network is required to maintain a safe environment and enable social/economic connectivity. This funding is being made available from within the 2023 Regional and Local Roads Grant allocation, and as such, the fund is limited. 

I am committed to working closely with Cork County Council to assist in addressing the issues caused by Storm Babet and to help restore our road network. Road grant allocations for the coming year are expected in early 2024.