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Extra cash needed to stop crumbling roads causing injuries - DCC

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Around 30pc of reported issues haven’t been repaired

Around 30pc of reported issues haven’t been repaired

Around 30pc of reported issues haven’t been repaired

Dublin City Council (DCC) has warned that road users in the capital will face an increasing level of danger unless it secures significant additional funding to maintain the city's road network.

Council management has also expressed concern that the failure to source extra funding could result in an increase in personal injury claims due to the deterioration of roads within the city.

There are significantly more defects and hazards on the city's roads and streets being reported to the local authority than there are repairs being carried out due to funding shortfalls, councillors have been told.

Officials have admitted that around 30pc of problems reported last year had not been repaired or made safe.

A total of 7,085 defects or hazards with the city's roads, streets and footpaths were logged during 2019 but only 5,148 of them were addressed - just over 70pc of the total.

The council's road maintenance section has responsibility for a network of 1,250km of public roads and streets across the city, with funding sourced since 2015 from revenue from the Local Property Tax (LPT).

Dermot Collins, executive manager of the council's roads section, pointed out that funding for the maintenance of the city's road network this year is €5.78m, compared to €7.65m in 2011.

Mr Collins said construction tender prices had increased by around 50pc over the period, which meant that the €7.65m received in 2011 would require expenditure of €11.5m in 2020 to maintain the same level of investment in road maintenance.

Surveys have highlighted in recent years how 11pc of the city's regional road network was in poor repair and required reconstruction, while a further 37pc needed "structural restoration".

Protection

"In order to improve the condition of these roads surveyed and to prevent additional sections of the roads network deteriorating and falling into these categories, Dublin City Council will require significant additional investment over and above what it is currently receiving on an annual basis," said Mr Collins.

Councillors are due to debate the issue at a meeting of the finance committee next week.

In a report for the committee, Mr Collins highlighted the need to provide protection for the growing number of vulnerable road users such as cyclists and pedestrians.

"Continued under-investment in the road and footway network will result in increasing levels of personal injury claims, which form a substantial amount of monies paid out from the road maintenance services budget," said Mr Collins.

Mr Collins said that the annual budget of €12m for the council's road maintenance division would deliver around 14km of resurfaced road this year.

"If investment were to continue at this present level, it would take 100 years to resurface Dublin City Council's road network," he added.

Council management is expected to repeat the call it has made in recent years on elected members to only apply a 10pc reduction on the LPT in order to generate extra funding of around €4m.

However, councillors have consistently voted to apply the maximum 15pc discount since the tax was first introduced in 2013.