IFA Countryside Chairman, Tim O’Leary, has called on the Department of Transport to use the additional funds from motor tax to increase the roads repair budget and ring fence funding for the maintenance of local roads.
“Over the past four years an estimated additional 75,000 cars are travelling on roads, which has increased the motor tax paid by over €17 million. During the same period rural roads have continued to deteriorate. This impacts on the economic and social wellbeing of rural areas, with families experiencing difficulties in accessing services. In some parts of the country, couriers haves stopped calling to households because of the poor road infrastructure. This issue must be addressed and the increased motor tax income should be used for essential roads’ repairs.”
Government funding of the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS), which supports works to be undertaken on local roads, has been reduced dramatically in recent years. This has resulted in many of these roads being left in disrepair and becoming dangerous for road users.
“A separate budget must now be ring-fenced by the Department of Transport and distributed to local authorities to deal with this issue”.