Reply from Pat "the Cope" Gallagher re allocation of funds for regional signposting in five counties 

7 April, 2003.

Mr Peter Jordan,

Dear Mr. Jordan,

I refer to your recent e-mail concerning the provision and maintenance of signposting in Ireland.Firstly, I would like to explain that sign posting on National Roads is being addressed by the National Roads Authority.With regard to Non-National Roads, the Programme for Government issued in June 2002, gave a commitment to:“put in place a new 5-year plan to ensure that non-national roads are properly signposted”

Funding of 5.1 m is being provided to five Local Authorities i n 2003 under the Regional Road Signposting Programme. Progressively ove the next five years, this issue will be dealt with under this comprehensive signage programme. The funding for 2003 has been allocated as follows: Donegal County Council - 1.45 m , Galway County Council - 1.3 m - Kerry County Council -750,000 , - Sligo County Council -450,000 - Wexford County Council - 1.15m . 

The inadequacies in road singposting have long been the source of complaint, particulalrly from tourists. Tourism is very important to Ireland, especiall in the five counties selected for initial funding this year. Other counties will benefit in future years.The allocations are based on the number of regional road junctions in these five counties (The total figure for Donegal, based on the number of such junctions was 1.9 m, but was capped at  in 2003 for practical reasons. The counties selected  are also closest to three of the NRA's four design offices (Waterford, Kerry, Donegal with Kildare being the fourth). The selected local authorities can utilise the expertise in those offices if they so require.One of the merits of completing regional road signage in a few selected counties rather than doing a small amount of signage in all counties is that there is a better prospect of ensuring continuity in the destinations/place names used along regional routes in each county by completing the design process within one year. It also offers the prospect of efficiencies in the erection of the signs.One of the principal purposes of this initiative is to provide a system of comprehensive direction signs between the main regional centres. The design of the signage must be submitted to, and approved by the Department before a local authority can proceed to tender for the manufacture of a signage contract. The Department intends to check for consistency and continuity in the use of destination/place names when examining the design documentation.To conclude, the Regional Road Signposting Programme is being introduced on a phased basis. It is, however, the Department’s intention that a comprehensive system of direction signs on all regional roads in the country will be provided over a period of 5 years. 

Yours sincerely,

Pat the Cope Gallagher, T.D.,
Minister of State,