Last week we reported that Waterford City Council would undertake the repair of roads in the city area. This is welcome news but, as the cost of repair is less than one million euro, some budget can be found. The situation in the county is far more serious. Here the numbers are much higher as the road network is so extensive.
There is also a problem with many heavy lorries using roads that were not able to take such weights. The government appears reluctant to take on this burden for Waterford or for other parts of the country.
Perhaps our MEPS might be able to investigate if there are any funding possibilities from Europe for these exceptional weather conditions. The UK has similarly had very harsh cold weather and has a huge bill running to tens of billions of pounds to make good the damage done by ice and floods over the winter. In America and Canada they found that having some small scale contracts for road improvements helped create jobs at a time when the construction industry was in difficulty. Germany’s leader and Chancellor Angela Merkel also offered funds last summer for road building as a stimulus to the economy.
Our own Government has huge financial troubles but are there some road fund amounts in some under used budget that could be used. Safety issues may dictate that this could come back at the councils in future years. Last week the trade union leaders were making much point of their long tradition in Waterford. A campaign to spend money on roads could be a useful step in future job creation and a good example of how state intervention can benefit the community.