Eight major road upgrades around the country scheduled for this year have been shelved due to insufficient funding, according to Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).
The projects include planned upgrades to roads in Cork, Waterford, and Galway, all of which are national roads and earmarked for investment under various government plans, including the National Development Plan.
Earlier this week, TII confirmed that work on a multi-million euro upgrade of the fifth-busiest road in the country, the N25 Carraigtwohill to Midleton route, would not proceed as scheduled, something described by Carrigtwohill-based Fine Gael councillor Anthony Barry as "a slap in the face for Cork".
Cork County Council chief executive Tim Lucey described the update as "quite a shock".
TII said the other projects in a similar position are the N2 Clontibret to the border, the N4 Mullingar to Longford, the N11/M11 Jn 4 to Jn 14, the N24 Waterford to Cahir, the N25 Waterford to Glenmore, the N52 Tullamore to Kilbeggan, and the N59 Clifden to Maam Cross.
A spokesperson for the transport body said: "TII delivers on Government policy relating to national roads as set out in the NDP, National Planning Framework, NIFTI, and the Climate Action Plan. Funding for new roads for the first half of the NDP is €1.1bn, of which over €800m is committed to fund existing projects for the years 2021-2025.
"There is €4bn of funding identified to progress projects within the second half of the NDP between 2026 and 2030.
Speaking at an Oireachtas committee last November, TII chief executive Peter Walsh referred to the staggered nature of the finding, and said: "From discussions with the department, TII understands that there will be a significant ramping up of funding in the years 2026 to 2030 to enable delivery of the projects currently in the planning phase and identified in the NDP as being subject to further approvals."
The Department of Transport said the stalled projects would be considered for funding next year.
A department spokesperson said: "Approximately €616m of exchequer capital funds have been provided for national roads through TII to local authorities in 2022 [regional and local roads are allocated separately].
"The 2022 funding allocations are made having regard for the National Development Plan 2021-2030, which balances investment in transport against other priorities of Government, such as housing and health over the lifetime of the NDP."
The spokesperson said: "The Government earmarked €5.1bn for capital spending on new national roads projects from 2021 to 2030 as part of the NDP. As the greater portion of this funding becomes available in the second half of the decade, this means a constraint on the funding available for new projects this year — however most national road projects in the NDP will continue to be progressed in 2022."