Roads need ‘extensive’ repair works after Storm Frank

Roads across the country will need “extensive repair” when flood waters recede, says Conor Faughnan, director of consumer affairs with AA RoadWatch.

Even roads that are only partially flooded will be significantly damaged, he said, and surfaces will be affected.

“We had something similar to this, perhaps not as bad, or as extensive, or as long in duration, but something similar to this, in 2009,” he said.

“And when those flood waters receded, there was extensive damage to the road surface.

“So, I think, for local authorities up and down the country, their first thing in 2016 will be extensive road repair and I think, inevitably, they will need some funding for that.”

The worst-affected areas are in Munster and Leinster, where a number of roads are still closed, after storm Frank battered the country earlier this week.

“The worst-affected counties are still Cork and Kilkenny, but you can encounter a closed road pretty much anywhere in the country, and we’ve listed lots of them on the AA RoadWatch website. It’s quicker to list the counties that are not affected,” said Mr Faughnan.

Meanwhile, the Fianna Fáil transport spokesman, Timmy Dooley, criticised the Government’s track record on maintaining regional and local roads.

“The Government has claimed, at each annual budget, that it is protecting maintenance spending on regional and local roads throughout the country. However, the latest figures I have received tell a different story entirely,” said Mr Dooley, who was responding to a reply from the Department of Transport that revealed €580m a year is required to keep the country’s roads up to scratch.

“Since 2012, the investment made in roads has been well under the level required to properly maintain them. The Government itself acknowledges this,” he said.

“The maintenance costs have far exceeded annual investment in roads in recent years. The Government underspent by an estimated €289m per annum on roads this year alone.”

Mr Dooley said there has been a “dramatic underspend” for the last few years.

“If you look at the three-year average of what was spent on roads in each county from 2013 to 2015, you will discover that maintenance spending on roads has been approximately 47% below what is required to keep the roads in a good condition.

“This is the reason why regional and local roads are potholed, and in such a terrible condition, in many parts of the country.”

More on this topic

Hundreds still waiting for flood relief fundingHundreds still waiting for flood relief funding

Most in favour of state-back insurance fund to help weather victimsMost in favour of state-back insurance fund to help weather victims

€106m set aside to fix roads damaged in recent floods€106m set aside to fix roads damaged in recent floods

Government announces plan for new group to combat  River Shannon floodingGovernment announces plan for new group to combat River Shannon flooding


Dr Sarah Miller is the CEO of Dublin’s Rediscovery Centre, the national centre for the Circular Economy in Ireland. She has a degree in Biotechnology and a PHD in Environmental Science in Waste Conversion Technologies.‘We have to give people positive messages’

When I was pregnant with Joan, I knew she was a girl. We didn’t find out the gender of the baby, but I just knew. Or else, I so badly wanted a girl, I convinced myself that is exactly what we were having.Mum's the Word: I have a confession: I never wanted sons. I wanted daughters

What is it about the teenage years that are so problematic for families? Why does the teenage soul rage against the machine of the adult world?Learning Points: It’s not about the phone, it’s about you and your teen

Judy Collins is 80, and still touring. As she gets ready to return to Ireland, she tells Ellie O’Byrne about the songs that have mattered most in her incredible 60-year career.The songs that matter most to Judy Collins from her 60-year career

More From The Irish Examiner