Deputy Michael Collins has said that following the meeting which he arranged with Minister Shane Ross and a delegation from West Cork on Wednesday January 11th in Dáil Eireann, over half a million euro in extra funding has been made available to upgrade West Cork roads. This funding will supplement Cork County Council’s own resources expenditure on regional and local road projects and it has been allocated on top of the existing funding already made available.
Deputy Collins said, “I was very happy when Minister Ross contacted me to let me know that he had allocated this substantial amount of funding for specific areas on West Cork roads as a result of our meeting. This funding will improve our roads and will enhance safety and support job growth in West Cork. As we continue to highlight the need for better road infrastructure in West Cork I am hopeful that this amount will increase steadily over the next few years, it is a step in the right direction.”
The funding has been specifically allocated for projects such as bridge rehabilitation and safety improvement works on local and regional roads. The Minister has also made funding available for a programme to tackle the spread of Japanese Knotweed.
Examples of the funding include €25,000 for R586 Ilen Bridge, €25,000 for the R595 Old Court, Skibbereen to Baltimore, €50,000 for Bantry Culvert ,€75,000 for Derreens Pipe Culvert (Skibbereen), €70,000 for Coolatooder Bridge (Bandon), €120,000 for Black Cross Bridge (Innishannon), €40,000 for Dromgarvan Bridge, €50,000 for the bad bend in Dromdeegy on the Togher to Poulnaberry bridge section of the R585, €20,000 for Hair pin Bends at Glanycarney, Cousane, Kealkill, €17,500 for School Rd, Timoleague in the vicinity of Timoleague National School, €5,000 for Hospital Road, Bantry and €30,000 for the Hospital Junction at Carrignagat, Bantry.
“We anticipate a visit from Minister Ross in the near future where he can see the improvements made and more importantly the need for additional funding to further improve the condition of our local and regional roads in West Cork,” said Deputy Collins.
The announcement came as it was confirmed that Cork County Council is to receive €36,049,508 in roads funding this year, part of a €324 million national investment programme for regional and local roads in 2017.
Local Fine Gael Senator Tim Lombard said, “Fine Gael in Government is determined to use our strong economy to benefit all areas of the country, and roads funding is just one example of this. The funding announced by the Government today constitutes a 9% increase on last year’s allocation, which is only possible as our economy continues to grow. This funding is for the local authority to maintain and strengthen our roads here in Cork. Moreover this funding will stimulate local job creation which is really important for our local communities.
“This funding for roads in Cork will make a big difference to people and businesses locally. This announcement comes in the same week as the Government launched its Action Plan for Rural Ireland which, with its 270 targeted actions, will help to deliver benefits to people and communities all across Cork,” he said.
Dunmanway-based independent councillor Declan Hurley who is Chairman of the Roads & Transportation Strategic Policy Committee of Cork County Council & Chairmann of the West Cork Municipal District of Cork County Council also welcomed the announcement.
Cllr Hurley said, “I am very pleased that this funding has allowed for an 11.5% increase in the Restoration Improvement Grant compare to 2016 for Cork. I know this will be of particular benefit to the roads in West Cork which have been severely drained of funding over the last number of years.
“Local Authorities like Cork County Council are best placed to assess priorities within their own areas and therefore I welcome Minister Ross’s statement that considerable autonomy has now been given to Cork County Council under the specific grant headings to decide their own specific work programmes including up to 15% discretionary grant. I look forward to seeing progress on our local & regional roads throughout 2017 as a result of this allocation today”.