Rural dwellers in County Limerick out on a limb after road grant scheme cut

Donal O’Regan

Reporter:

Donal O’Regan

THE AXING of the local improvement scheme is yet another example of rural dwellers being forgotten about said Cllr Eddie Wade at a Castleconnell Electoral Area committee meeting.

THE AXING of the local improvement scheme is yet another example of rural dwellers being forgotten about said Cllr Eddie Wade at a Castleconnell Electoral Area committee meeting.

Cllr Wade was backed by his colleagues on calling for the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadakar to restore the grants.

They scheme, which was cut in the Budget, assisted local authorities to carry out improvements works on private / non-public roads. Its discontinuation will save the exchequer €5 million.

“The people who make these decisions have no contact with country people. We all accept cutbacks but what about Ministerial pension cut backs? Not from our roads,” said Cllr Wade.

“It’s a wonderful scheme. First of all country people have had their lights on rural roads taken away. Now if you’re on a list for the local improvement scheme you won’t get what you’re entitled to.

“People were told two years ago they will have it done in two years time and now nothing. Country people are being forgotten about,” said Cllr Wade.

Chairman of the Castleconnell Electoral Area, John Egan said the cutting of the scheme is yet another attack on rural communities.

He said the proportion of money that has been spent in the city environs far outweighs the country areas.

“There has been huge growths in population in country villages, it’s not just in the city,” he said.

Cllr Egan called for traffic calming measures in Ballyneety, new footpaths in Murroe and pedestrian crossings in Caherconlish.

“All three villages have seen huge growth. Caherconlish is incredibly busy at peak times with the school growing in size and the traffic on that road. These villages have been neglected.

“Big money was spent in the city environs and the rural areas of the constituency needs more money spent on it,” said Cllr Egan.

Cllr Brigid Teefy said there is a huge backlog of local improvement schemes to be completed.

“Families live on these roads and it makes a huge difference to their lives. The scheme was great value for money and now there will be a huge backlog. It should be restored,” said Cllr Teefy.

Cllr Mary Harty said these roads will fall in to disrepair and cost more to fix in the future.

“There are a lot of elderly people living on these roads and they have to get in and get out. It adds to isolation in rural areas,” said Cllr Harty,