Roads budget for Kerry in 2014 slashed by one third

N72 road sign Funding for the upgrading and repair of roads in the county will be slashed by over a third this year. Kerry County Council is currently debating the draft Roads Programme for 2014, which will see the overall budget cut by €13 million to €27 million. Funding will be provided however for repairs on eight sections of the N70, N71 and N72. It’s a case of cuts, cuts and more cuts in Kerry County Council’s roads programme for 2014. Councillors have been listening this afternoon to details of significant reductions in funding allocations this year for national, non-national and local roads. Presenting the draft programme, Director of Services, Charlie O’Sullivan, said the overall budget is down 34% on last year, at €26.9 million. Putting the funding decrease in context, Mr O’Sullivan told the meeting that money for regional and local roads in Kerry was down 50% since 2008. There will be no money for pavement overlay works on national primary routes this year. The large decrease in the national road network fund is primarily due to the completion of the Tralee Bypass – discussions with the contractor there on the final cost of the project are ongoing. Funding is being provided for the completion of the CPO and EIS processes associated with the Listowel Bypass as well as land acquisition completions on the N86 Tralee-Dingle road. Charlie O’Sullivan said the biggest disappointment of 2013 was the refusal by An Bord Pleanála to sanction the remaining sections of the N86. He added that the continuing decline in investment from central government presents a serious challenge in meeting the expectations of road users.