Tim O’ Leary IFA’s Deputy President and Countryside Chairman has described the results of the first national survey of local and regional roads as “confirmation of the unacceptable road conditions that many farm families and rural dwellers have to endure each day.”
The survey, which was completed by the local authority oversight body, the National Oversight and Audit Commission, found that over 75% of national roads are not in top condition and almost one-third of minor roads have some form of structural damage. Mr. O’Leary added that of additional concern is the failure of at least five local authorities to complete the survey.
IFA has called on Government to implement the following two key measures set out in the Association’s Charter for Rural Ireland policy framework, to tackle the issue:
1. A robust roads budget must be put in place, with funding from the Department of Transport ring-fenced for rural roads each year and allocated to local authorities as part of a planned annual repair and maintenance programme.
2. The Local Improvement Scheme, which supports works to be undertaken on local roads, must be restored and fully funded in each local authority region.