Active Travel Budgets for Kildare

by | Dec 19, 2022 | 0 comments

Full council: 19 December 2022

Motion: That the council outline the size of the gap in drawdown of allocated Active Travel Budgets for Kildare this year and the reasons for the gap.  

The motion was proposed by Councillor Liston and seconded by Councillor Hamilton. 

A report from Ms C Barrett A/Director of Services Roads Transportation and Public  Safety stated that on 26 January 2022, the National Transport Authority informed the  Council of funding in the amount of €13,670,000 as part of the Active Travel  Programme for 2022. This covered 26 Projects and an allocation for staff costs.  The NTA has paid the Council a total of €9,707,909 in 2022 for works completed and  recoupable from the NTA. This represents 71% of the original allocation to the  Council. 

During the year, as expenditure did not meet the expected levels envisaged by the  NTA, additional projects were assigned funding to replace the expected shortfall in  expenditure. A cumulative total of €19,170,547.54 was allocated to 30 projects in  2022 as there is no mechanism to substitute grants between projects. The total  drawdown of €9,707,909 in 2022 compares to a drawdown of €3,290,856 in 2021  which is a significant increase and reflects the workload being processed by the  Sustainable Transport Section. 

There are multiple reasons for the difference between the Government’s allocation  and the Council’s expenditure. The main challenges to increasing policy  implementation are consultant and contractor labour limitations, the complexity of  designing practical and suitable civil engineering interventions in urban contexts,  rigorous procurement and financial regulations and the timescales of statutory  planning approval processes. As an example, the Council has put in place robust  mechanisms to limit the delay in appointing service providers, however, one project had to be re-tendered 3 times before any service provider engaged in the  procurement process.

Councillor Liston informed the members that the reasons for the differences were  well articulated in the report. She was surprised that Kildare was not in the top 5 for  drawdown in the country. 

The members made the following points. 

  • Were there sufficient staff to deal with the workload. 
  • Could the works be advertised as a bundle. 
  • This would allow contractors to take on work as they could bulk buy materials. 

Ms Barrett informed the members that it is a constant challenge and tendering can be difficult, but the frameworks were in place. She thought that bundling was a good idea if the projects required similar type materials. There was now a full team in place to deal with the work and she expected that the works would take place and allocations would be used.

Resolved on the proposal of Councillor Liston, seconded by Councillor Hamilton and  agreed by members that the report be noted.


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