Senior Government figures have moved to give assurances that the budget for roads will be spent this year.

It follows a discussion at Cabinet yesterday after it emerged there had been a significant underspend in the first three months of this year.

Only €22m of a budget of €50m was spent on roads and road safety in the first quarter.

While €94m of a budget of €156m was spent on sustainable mobility which includes electric vehicle infrastructure and grants, research and public transport.

Speaking earlier, Tánaiste Micheál Martin said that the Government will address the issue.

He said: "Government will be examining this to make sure funding is made available to make sure we can optimally allocate funding to get road maintenance done both in regional and local roads."

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said it is not yet clear if there will be an underspend this year as a whole.

He said he had spoken to Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan about the issue and he was confident the full budget of €2.6bn will be spent.

He added: "We can reallocate some funding for additional road maintenance and additional restoration of footpaths and cycleways."

A spokesman for Mr Ryan said the budget for the first quarter of the year is only a fraction of the total for 2023 as much of the spending is "back ended" towards the latter part of the year.

He said the capital budget for the Department of Transport for 2023 is over €2.7bn but the budget for the first quarter was just €219m.

He added the department will spend its budget this year.