The Mayor of the County of Cork today (8th February 2016) outlined his bitter disappointment at the recent announcement by the Government that they are to further cut funding to upgrade Cork’s roads in 2016.
Cork County Council was notified of its Regional & Local roads allocation by Government in recent days which totals €29.6m for 2016. This is an almost €3m reduction of funding compare to €32.2m which was allocated in 2015. The allocation represents a 6.8% reduction in funding for our local roads in Cork for 2016.
Cork County Council will be investing €5.6m of it’s own resources into Cork Roads throughout 2016.
Mayor O’ Shea commented “This is dreadful news for Cork particularly given the current condition of our roads following the recent storms. This reduction of funding essentially means there will be fewer roads upgraded during 2016. Giving an estimate that to upgrade a standard local road in an area would cost in the region of €100k, this effectively means 30 roads throughout the county will now not be re-strengthened this year due to this funding cut. To me, this is unacceptable and the Government need to be asked why Cork yet again receives the crumbs of a national pot of funding”.
This funding cut for regional and local roads comes following a request from Cork County Council to the Department of Transport for an additional allocation of €12.9m for roads and bridges damaged by the severe weather in December 2015. Although a national fund of €106m was announced as part of a relief for the recent storms in recent weeks, Cork County Council has not seen a single euro yet.
Mayor O’ Shea added “We had another severe weather event in West Cork in September 2015 where there was €2.4m worth of damage done to roads and bridges in the area. Today, we are still awaiting €964,000 of this money which was promised to Cork County Council to repair our roads”.
Mayor O’ Shea concluded “Having travelled to view some of the affected roads, it is clear the road network throughout Cork has experienced widespread damage and this has led to many people suffering severe hardship and disruption to their daily lives by having their local roads ripped up by the bad weather. The simply reality is that if no special allocation by the Department of Transport is made to cover the recent damage in the coming weeks, Cork County Council will have no other alternative but to review its the Restoration Improvement Programme. This would be disastrous in the current climate give we are already €3m in deficit for 2016”.