€1 million road cut set to cause more damage to roads - councillor

A €1 million cut in the roads budget for the roadworks programme in 2013 will lead to more damage to roads around Laois.

A €1 million cut in the roads budget for the roadworks programme in 2013 will lead to more damage to roads around Laois.

Borris-in-Ossory area councillor, Brendan Phelan said the road will be in a worse condition next year.

“The road tax has increased, but the state of the roads is dismal. We’ve been lucky with the good weather the last few weeks, the crews were able to get some patching work done.”

“There is €1million gone from the roads budget. I’m disappointed with the allocation from the Department, some roads had to be dropped from the programme as a result,” Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald said.

Although disappointed by the cuts to the budget, Cllr Mary Sweeney said it was good to see some areas outside Portlaoise getting money.

Cllr John Joe Fennelly said a lot of people were going to be unhappy.

“There are 16 roads on the programme in the Borris-in-Ososry area. The National Roads Authority have approved €50,000 for a survey on Tonduff Cross, but we’ve requested that they spend some of this money on the footpaths on the Portlaoise side of Abbeyleix.

“There was €100,000 for the Poorman’s Bridge and this was reduced to €80,000. That money will be used for another collapsed bridge in the area,” he said.

Meanwhile, Cllr Martin Phelan said the NRA would have to drop their price on the tolls to stop trucks coming through Abbeyleix and breaking up the road.

Director of Services, Kieran Kehoe said the department’s allocation had been reduced from €7.7million last year to €6.7million, this year.

County manager, Peter Carey was complimentary of the council’s own staff.

“Without their flexibility we would have a huge problem balancing our books,” the county manager said.