Dáil Question No: 7
To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if he will provide an update on the upgrading of the N7; when works will be scheduled to commence; the expected completion time for this project; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
– Anthony Lawlor.
For ORAL answer on Wednesday, 23rd September, 2015.
Ref No: 31805/15
Answered by the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport Paschal Donohoe
As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. The construction, improvement and maintenance of individual national roads, is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) in conjunction with the local authorities concerned. The assessment and prioritisation of individual national road projects within its overall capital budget is also a matter for TII.
Due to the national financial position, there have been very large reductions in roads expenditure over the past number of years. Funding in 2008 was €2.3 billion while funding this year is around €764 million for the national, regional and local road network. The reality is that available funds have fallen well short of the amount of work that could be undertaken.
The Government will publish its new Capital Plan shortly. This Plan will take into account the maintenance and strengthening needs of the national, regional and local road network in order to ensure that the existing network is fit for purpose in meeting the needs of the travelling public and of industry and businesses. It will also take account of the need to upgrade certain roads to improve access to poorly served regions, for large scale employment proposals, to complete missing links and to address critical safety issues. I am happy that the Plan will represent a positive response to meeting these various needs.