Laois Sinn Féin TD Brian Stanley is calling for extra funding from government to repair the damage caused by the recent severe weather.
“The allocation of funding for local and regional roads in Laois Co. Councils (LCC) budget will not be adequate to get the road network back in reasonable condition,” he said.
He said, “The recent spell of snow and frost has caused a lot of damage to roads and I have complaints from constituents in all parts of the county.
“This follows on from a winter when there was higher than average rainfall and several months of frost, which combined has left large parts of the road network in poor condition. Despite the best efforts of Council Staff, some roads are now in a similar condition to the 1980’s.
“In several locations the problem has been compounded by the lack of roadside drainage and water flowing off land onto the public roads.
“The solution to this will require the cooperation of farmers and rural dwellers and I would urge people to assist the LCC in this regard.
“If roads are allowed to deteriorate it will actually be more expensive in the long term to strengthen and restore them.
“Extensive drainage and resurfacing work will be required over the spring and summer to get roads across the County back into reasonable shape.
“The allocation in LCC budget of €4.7 million for work on local roads and €3.3 million for regional roads will not cover the cost.
“The portion of this allocated for ‘winter maintenance’ is just €170,000 which is totally inadequate given that scale of damage caused by snow, frost and flooding.
“I am making the case to the Minister for Transport Shane Ross to grant a top up severe weather payment to LCC to carry out the necessary works. Remedial work done over the coming months will save LCC and the Government money in the long term.”