Laois to get extra cash for local road scheme hit badly by property crash

Conor Ganly

Reporter:

Conor Ganly

Email:

news@leinsterexpress.ie

Potholes

Potholes are just one of the issuse that hit local roads

Laois is getting €270,000 to fill potholes and carry out other repairs to vital local roads around the county.

The funding represents just over 2.5% of the €10.5 million for repairs and improvement works on non-public roads in rural communities.

The Department of Rural and Community Development says the money, announced under the Local Improvement Scheme, will improve access to rural homes and farms, as well as outdoor amenities.

The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys the national allocation represents a 5% increase compared to 2020, with every county receiving an increase.

The Department added that over €68 million has now been invested under the Local Improvement Scheme since it was re-introduced in 2017.

A statement added focus of the scheme is to support the continued improvement of rural roads and laneways that are not normally maintained by local authorities but which represent a vital piece of infrastructure for rural residents.

Laois County Councillors were told recently that a backlog of applications had build-up due to the suspension of the scheme for six years from 2011.

Minister Humphreys added in the statement issued on May 14: “I know there is a significant demand for funding under the Local Improvement Scheme right across the country. That is why I am today announcing increased funding for every county under the scheme, however, I am acutely aware that more is needed.

"I am working to identify if additional funding can be provided for LIS in 2021 and I would therefore urge each Local Authority to utilise the funding announced today, and complete the repair works on the selected roads, as soon as possible.

“This would position them well to undertake repairs on additional roads before the end of the year should further funding become available,” she said.

A statement said Local Authorities are responsible for identifying and prioritising roads for improvement works under the scheme, in consultation with residents/landowners.

It said the funding provided will be complemented by a local financial contribution from landowners/householders, as well as Local Authority resources. 

There will be a cap of €1,200 on the amount that any individual householder or landowner will be asked to contribute towards the cost of repairs to their road.

The funding was welcomed by Laois Offaly Minister of State Seán Fleming and Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan.

Eligible Roads

  • non-public roads that provide access to parcels of agricultural land, or provide access for harvesting purposes (including turf or seaweed) for two or more persons.; or
  • Non-public roads leading to important community amenities such as graveyards, beaches, piers, mountains, etc.

Non-eligible roads include:

§  Roads serving only houses or buildings occupied or used by persons not engaged in Agriculture, and

§  Roads leading to commercial enterprises