VAT savings on tolls to be used for road safety schemes
Minister for Transport Shane Ross says up to €35m to be spent on four regional schemes
Minister for Transport Shane Ross told People Before Profit Alliance TD Bríd Smith the four projects were selected due to their potential impact on road safety. Photograph: Alan Betson
Part of a €100 million Revenue tax refund, which arose after a European ruling on the charging of VAT on motorway tolls, is to be spent on a series of road safety schemes.
Earlier this year, the European Court of Justice ruled VAT should not be applied to tolls on State-owned routes such as the M50, the Dublin Tunnel and the East Link bridge.
Revenue is yet to determine how it will deal with the historic VAT payments collected between July 2010 and April 2017, which amount to an estimated €100 million.
However, in relation to savings anticipated this year, Minister for Transport Shane Ross told People Before Profit Alliance TD Bríd Smith the four projects were selected due to their potential impact on road safety.
In Co Kerry, there will be works to realign some 3.5km of the N70 between Killorglin and Milltown, beginning at Kilcolman townland and ending at Tinnahally. The realignment will remove substandard bends and improve sight distances on the road, which has a poor crash record. It will be realigned as a single, 7m wide carriageway, with 2½m hard shoulder.
In Co Donegal, the N56 Coolboy-Kilmacrennan scheme will begin about 500m north of Letterkenny and is a continuation of the N56 Mountaintop to Illistrin project completed in 2009. The 3.15km-long works will involve the widening and realignment of the existing route to a 7m-wide single carriageway with hard strips. The scheme also includes the provision of a cycleway.
In Co Monaghan, the existing N2 between Monaghan and Emyvale has been the subject of phased improvement works to improve the poor horizontal and vertical alignment. Three phases have been completed and the funds will be used to carry out works on a 3.4km-long stretch extending northwards from the townland of Corracrin to Cornacreeve on the outskirts of Emyvale.
In Co Roscommon, the works will take place on the N61 immediately north of Roscommon town. The crash rate on this section of road is twice the national average. The proposed road development is 2.5km in length and involves a standard single carriageway 7.3m wide with two 2.5m hard shoulders. The current alignment of this section of the N61 is said to be deficient in both horizontal and vertical directions. Sight distances at junctions are considered to be restricted at present and there are no overtaking opportunities. In addition, there are 47 access points, such as field gates which have a major impact on road safety.