Laois Road Improvement Budget Slashed
There is some disquiet around Laois as news filters out that the 2021 Budget for Road Improvements for the county has been slashed. Indeed the allocation for this year will be a mere 17% of what was allocated for 2020. In real terms this 83% budget drop sees €1,550,957 for Laois road improvements, while last year’s figure was €8,995,000.
Sinn Féin TD Patricia Ryan, whose South Kildare constituency takes in part of Laois, responded to the news as follows:
This is a massive drop and I am particularly concerned given the increase in road deaths nationally in 2020. We should be taking advantage of lighter traffic due to the pandemic to complete long overdue projects and improve accident blackspots.
Laois People has followed up and contacted TII (Transport Infrastructure Ireland) seeking clarification. A spokesperson for TII responded and pointed out that 3 major one-off projects took place in 2020. They were the Maidenhead Realignment Scheme along the N80 (at a cost of €3.4 million), €2 million for Pavement Renewal and a total of €2.3 million spent on the Stradbally Road Portlaoise scheme. Those three projects alone represented €7.7 million of the 2020 allocation. This would explain much of the reduction of the allocation. Where our taxpayers’ money went on our roads in Laois in 2020 can be seen below.