NRA unable to make road surface repairs due to cuts
Authority says unfixed routes would end up costing more due to deterioration
Fred Barry, head of National Roads Authority said choices ’have implications’. Photograph: Kate Geraghty/The Irish Times
The National Roads Authority has warned it will not be able to make essential surface repairs on main roads because of budget cuts.
Chief executive Fred Barry said if maintenance works were not made they would end up costing more because of deterioration.
He was before the Oireachtas Committee on Transport this morning.
The Authority’s budget for capital maintenance was cut by 83 per cent since the peak and halved in the past year, Mr Barry said.
The capital maintenance budget covers the renewal of elements on the roads that wear out over several years such as road pavements and bridges. It is separate to the day-to-day maintenance such as graffiti removal and grass cutting.
Committee chairman John O’Mahony raised concerns about “road safety implications” as a result of cuts in maintenance.
“We are flagging the situation.... there are choice being made and the choices will have implications ,” Mr Barry said. If the level of funding stood it would see a reversal of a “lot of the good work done in recent years”, he said.
However he said there were “no safety implications in the current year” and the Authority was prioritising its funds and directing it towards deteriorated surfaces.
Mr Barry said renewal work was best done on a “continuous cycle” before the road starts to “break up” and there is “significant deterioration”.
“ It is cheaper to do it on a progressive basis ....doing preventative work rather than waiting for it to deteriorate,” he said. If a road surface is left unfixed water will seep in and it will be a “much bigger job”, he said.
The National Road Authority is responsible for planning, supervision of construction, road network management and maintenance on national roads.