Regional and Local Roads

In 2018, a total of €417million was provided to local authorities to supplement expenditure from their own resources on the improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads. This will result in about 2,300kms of road being maintaned and 2,100 kms being strengthened this year.

The 2018 allocation represents an increase in funding of 29% and this year's programme allows for a number of Capital Plan projects to progress.  

1.         Importance of Regional and Local Roads

The regional and local roads programme is important from economic, social and political perspectives. These roads serve an important economic role in the Irish context and also have valuable social and community functions.  There are almost 94,000kms of regional and local roads in Ireland, which accounts for 94% of the country's roads network and they carry around 55% of all road traffic.  These roads are often the sole means of access for local economic activity.

These roads play a very important role in Ireland because of:

·         The dispersed nature of the population and industrial development;
·         The importance of tourism and agriculture as generators of wealth and employment and
·         The increasing attention being given to rural development and urban regeneration.

The network of regional and local roads provides mobility within and between local areas and provides vital links to the strategic national road network and the ports and airports which are our links with the wider European economy.

2.     Local Authority Own Resources Expenditure

Primary responsibility for improvement and maintenance of regional and local roads rests with local authorities.  State grants are intended to supplement realistic contributions by local authorities from their own resources. 

3.     State Grants

State road grants for regional and local roads are allocated to local authorities in January of each year.  These grants are intended as a supplement to local authority expenditure from their own resources.

Regional and local road grants in the three main categories (Restoration Improvement, Discretionary Grant and Restoration Maintenance) are allocated based on the length of the road network within a local authority area of responsibility. This is seen as the most equitable basis for allocations.  Allocations are given to the local authority and the distribution of grants to Muncipal Districts is a matter for each Council.  It is also open to each local authority to prioritise the allocation of its own resources.

Details of 2018 Grants by Category

Restoration Improvement


Restoration Maintenance


Supplementary Restoration Maintenance


Disretionary Grant


Severe Weather


Drainage Grant


Bridge Rehabilitation


Specific Improvement Grants


Strategic Regional & Local Roads


Safety Improvement Works


Speed Limts


Training Grant


Community Involvement Scheme €10m
Miscellaneous Grants €3.2m
Total €417m