Belfast City Council members have been updated on works in the city by the Department for Infrastructure.
Speaking as he addressed council members this evening, Divisional Roads Manager
Mr Kevin Monaghan said:
“Over the past year a number of significant resurfacing schemes have been completed including the Ballygomartin Road, Skegoneil Avenue, Great Georges Street, Stranmillis Road, Boucher Crescent and Malone Road from Cadogen to Broomhill Close. In addition, work was completed on the Giants Ring Road, Belmont Road, Rocky Road, Lagmore Dale and Mount Eagles Square as part of the roads recovery fund which addresses roads in immediate need of repair.”
Mr Monaghan also advised that the Network Development scheme for the provision of a localised build out at a bus stop and pedestrian island on Antrim Road is complete.
These projects will provide widespread benefits to both the local community and enhance provision for all those walking and cycling, as well as those using roads in the Belfast Council area.
Mr Monaghan continued:
“The Department continues to face significant Resource and Capital budget challenges. Since 2013 the Department has relied on in year funding to deliver some core services including public transport and winter gritting. This continues to be the case for 2019-20. Our allocation falls well short of meeting our needs. The continued provision of public transport services, particularly maintenance of the railway infrastructure will be challenging. Similarly the maintenance of the road network will be problematic, given its continuing deterioration and increases in raw material costs. Maintaining current levels of routine road maintenance, which were dependent on in-year funding in 2019/20, will be unlikely.
“In Capital the 2019-20 allocation to the Department represents a reduction from the previous year. Almost 70% of this budget is taken up with committed or priority projects, leaving insufficient budget to meet the Department’s responsibilities as custodian of some £40 billion of public assets; the Water and Sewerage network and the Roads and Public Transport systems.
“With the remaining funds, we will have to strike a balance between maintaining existing infrastructure in water and sewerage, the road network and public transport and new development, particularly in pursuit of the draft Programme for Government outcomes. Independent advice suggests that an investment of some £400m per year is needed to safeguard these assets, more than double what the Department has available.
“Recent independent reports highlight that funding for roads maintenance has been below the level required for some time. Therefore, funding for structural maintenance will remain similar to last year and will again include a ‘Roads Recovery Fund’ which gives flexibility to target those roads which have been adversely impacted by recent under funding.
“While this will enable the Department to plan to deliver a reasonable programme of resurfacing schemes in the Belfast City Council area, funding for other programmes, such as Local Transport and Safety Measures and Street Lighting column replacement, will not be at the same level. The allocation for routine maintenance which is also similar to last year, means that we can deliver two grass cuts, a single gully clean across the network and the intervention level for potholes on lightly trafficked roads remains at 50mm.”
Notes to editors:
- All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Out of hours please contact the duty press officer on 028 9037 8110.
- Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra and on Facebook @DepartmentforInfrastructure
- The first Northern Ireland Planning Monitoring Framework 2018/19 has been published today 19 September 2019
- £78,000 Footway Reconstruction and Carriageway Resurfacing Scheme for Broughshane Street, Ballymena 18 September 2019
- £237,000 resurfacing scheme for A8 Ballymena Road, Larne 13 September 2019
- First phase of £185million A6 Randalstown to Castledawson Dualling Scheme officially opened 12 September 2019