Published 26 October 2018
Over 1,100 rural roads improved in the last year – hundreds more to be repaired following today’s announcement
The Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, has today (Friday) announced a further allocation of almost €10 million for Local Authorities under the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS). This announcement brings to over €37 million the amount of money allocated to Local Authorities by the Minister since he reintroduced the scheme last year.
Minister Ring said: “The Local Improvement Scheme provides funding to improve small roads and laneways in rural Ireland that are not under the normal maintenance of the County Councils. The scheme has made a huge impact on many people living in rural areas by improving the roads they use every day to access their homes and farms, as well as important local amenities such as graveyards and beaches.”
The Minister continued: “Since I reintroduced funding for the LIS in September 2017, improvement works have been carried out on over 1,100 roads that would not otherwise have been repaired as they are not under the normal maintenance of the Local Authorities. The funding I am announcing today will result in hundreds more being improved.
“This scheme is a lifeline for people living in rural areas because it directly improves their access to and from their homes and farms. Many people living in rural areas use these roads on every journey they take, so when these roads fall into disrepair, it has a significant impact on them. By investing in the improvement of these roads the Government is helping to improve people’s quality of life in rural areas.
“The additional funding which I am allocating today will allow the County Councils to deliver a schedule of work to bring benefits to hundreds more people. The €20 million in funding that I have allocated for the scheme in total this year builds on the €17 million provided by my Department in 2017 and reflects the significant demand for these works.
“Earlier this year, I allocated over €10 million in LIS funding to the Local Authorities. I was aware, at that time, that there was a demand in local communities for even greater investment in non-public roads. I therefore asked the Local Authorities to provide me with a secondary list of roads on which they could carry out improvement works if further funding became available. I am delighted, therefore, to be able to announce the allocation of almost €10 million extra for the LIS scheme at this stage.”
The Minister concluded: “The Action Plan for Rural Development prioritises improving rural infrastructure and connectivity, and by supporting the LIS scheme we are doing just that. I am delighted that my Department is making such a positive impact on the lives of people who live and work in rural areas, through a whole range of measures such as the Town and Village Renewal Scheme, CLÁR programme and the LEADER programme.”
The additional amounts allocated to each Local Authority under the Local Improvement Scheme are as follows:
Notes for Editors:
- The Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) is a scheme for carrying out improvement works on private and non-publicly maintained roads. Often these roads lead to multiple residences, parcels of land that support agricultural activity or to amenities such as lakes, rivers or beaches.
- Local Authorities are responsible for identifying and prioritising roads for improvement works under the scheme.
- Due to the pressures on public finances during the recent recessionary period, specific allocations to Local Authorities for the LIS scheme had to be curtailed. This support was previously channelled through the former Department of the Environment and subsequently through the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
- The Programme for a Partnership Government incudes a commitment to “reinstate a fully funded Local Improvement Scheme to support the maintenance and repair of non-local authority roads”. This commitment was addressed through the re-launch of the LIS scheme by the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD, in 2017.
- The re-introduction of the LIS is also an important part of the delivery of the Government’s Action Plan for Rural Development. One of the Pillars of the Action Plan focuses on improving rural infrastructure and connectivity.