Stranorlar councillor Patrick McGowan has welcomed the Government's indication that it will not oppose a Fianna Fáil motion on regional and local roads later this week .

The Fianna Fáil motion claims that the Government has failed to invest in roads infrastructure and, as a result, local and regional roads across the country are in a poor condition.

The motion calls for increased investment in roads, in addition to regular updates from the Minister for Transport Shane Ross to the reactions.

Speaking in advance of the debate, Fianna Fáil TD and spokesperson for transport Robert Troy said: “Many regional and local roads are in a dreadful state as a result of the Government’s failure to invest in roads infrastructure.”

He cited a recent report carried out by the National Oversight and Audit Commission which found that almost 70 per cent of regional roads have serious structural and surface defects.

He added: “Over the last five years the Government has on average provided local authorities with less than half the amount of funding they need to maintain their roads.”

Commitment

He said that this was despite a commitment made in the Programme for Government to increase the capital budget for regional and local roads by approximately 50 per cent.

He said: “At least an additional €163 million is needed each year to maintain our road network to safe standard. The motion we have put to the Dáil calls on the Government to significantly increase funding for regional and local roads through the Capital Investment Plan."

The motion won support from other opposition deputies.

Cllr McGowan said Ireland’s regional and local roads are almost 91,000 km in length and carries over half of all traffic so we need  investment now to keep these existing roads "drivable" and not "just building new roads and throwing money at the already congested cities".

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