FUNDING: Government allocates €250,000 for local access roads across Carlow

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Rural Carlow residents are set to benefit from €250,000 funding for local access roads, Fine Gael Deputy Pat Deering has said.

This will support the continued improvement of non-public rural roads that enable people to access their homes and farms. 

Deputy Deering said the funding provided through the Local Improvement Scheme helps improve people’s quality of life in local areas.

It was also announced that the 2019 LIS will include 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.

Deputy Deering said: "This scheme continues to be a lifeline for people living in rural areas because it directly improves their access to and from their homes and farms.

"It’s important to remember that many people living in rural areas use these roads every day, so when these roads fall into disrepair, it has a significant impact on them.

"By investing in the improvement of these roads we are helping to improve people’s quality of life in Carlow.

"The upkeep of these roads is a priority for people who live in Carlow and this funding, in conjunction with the local community's own resources and the resources of Carlow County Council will allow for the maintenance and improvement of many local roads in rural areas.

"Local Authorities are still completing projects approved under the last round of funding in October 2018, and now Fine Gael in Government is announcing additional funding for the scheme in 2019."

Deputy Deering added: "We are also conscious of the high cost of repairing some of the more remote rural roads and the impact this can have on the contribution which people living and farming along those roads can be asked to make.

"As part of the scheme in 2019, the Minister is placing a cap of €1,200 on the amount that any individual householder or landowner will be asked to contribute towards the cost of repairs.

"This small but important change to the scheme will, I hope, facilitate the improvement of some of the more remote and sparsely populated roads in rural parts of Carlow.

"I cannot overstate how important local connectivity is in order to enable rural Ireland to function well. The Action Plan for Rural Development prioritises the improvement of rural infrastructure and connectivity and continuing to support and develop an LIS scheme is just one of the measures we are taking in that regard."

Minister for Rural & Community Development, Michael Ring, said: "The scheme, since  reintroduced in 2017, has been a great success and I continue to receive an unprecedented amount of positive feedback in relation to it.

"There was no dedicated funding for the LIS for a number of years, so there is significant built up demand for investment in these roads which I am committed to meeting."

The new round of funding will be released in two tranches. 

Local authorities will be notified of their overall indicative allocation with 50% of the funding being made available once they have certified completion of projects approved under the October 2018 announcement and completion of 50% of the first phase of the 2019 scheme. 

The balance will be made available at a later stage following completion of this next phase of projects. 

This will also allow for a possible redistribution of some of the funding, if necessary, depending on local authority performance with regard to the October 2018 announcement and the first phase of the 2019 scheme.

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