IFA Deputy President Eddie Downey said the announcement by Transport Minister Leo Varadkar that funds from the Restoration Improvement Grant can be used for emergency repair work on roads is welcome. However rural dwellers will judge the effectiveness of this move when they see the long overdue repair and maintenance work completed, which must be started immediately.
Eddie Downey said it has come as a shock to rural dwellers to discover that all the car tax collected each year is not directed to the repair of rural roads, but is used at the discretion of local authorities and sent to central Government. This is totally unacceptable.
Eddie Downey called on Minister Varadkar to direct County Councils and amend legislation if necessary to ensure that all monies collected from car tax is used exclusively for the maintenance and upkeep of roads.
Mr Downey said many secondary roads are in an atrocious condition and they pose a real danger to motorists because of the number and depth of potholes. Rural dwellers are entitled to have a road network that is safe to travel on and will not damage their vehicles. However members continue to question the capability of some local authorities to address the deteriorating rural road network.