An additional sum of €548,508 has been allocated to Waterford Council for repairs and improvement works on rural roads and laneways, Fine Gael Senator John Cummins has said.
Senator Cummins has welcomed the announcement from the Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, of an additional €16 million for road projects across the country. This means that almost €30 million has been allocated under the Local Improvement Scheme (LIS) this year alone.
And almost €130 million has been invested through LIS since the scheme was re-introduced in 2017 by then Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring TD.
Senator Cummins said: “I welcome the funding of €548,508 allocated to Waterford under the local improvement scheme. This is on top of the €269,063 that was allocated to Waterford in the first round of funding that was announced earlier this year.
“This money can be used for non-public roads and lanes that are not normally maintained by Waterford Council, but are critical for rural residents - providing access to homes, farms and businesses, as well as outdoor amenities.
“Eligible roads under the scheme include non-public roads that provide access to parcels of agricultural land, or provide access for harvesting purposes (including turf or seaweed) for two or more persons. Also included are non-public roads leading to important community amenities such as graveyards, beaches, piers and mountains.
“I would also appeal to Waterford Council to utilise the funding to address any backlog of applications that they currently have. The overall funding is more than double the allocation provided last year,” Senator John Cummins said.
Since the Local Improvement Scheme was re-introduced in 2017, almost 4,000 roads nationally have been funded for repair works.
Announcing the funding, Minister Humphreys said: “As someone who grew up on a farm myself, I know all too well what it is like when a milk truck cannot gain access to collect the milk.I know too how poor quality roads in rural Ireland can negatively impact on families and businesses.
“That’s why the Local Improvement Scheme was re-introduced in 2017 by my predecessor and colleague, Michael Ring. Since its re-introduction, over €130 million has been invested in rural communities the length and breadth of Rural Ireland.
“This funding is all about making peoples’ lives that bit easier and ensuring we have good access to homes, farms, businesses and local amenities.
“The scale of this investment is a clear example of Government’s commitment to supporting our rural communities through our five year rural development strategy, ‘Our Rural Future’.