Causeway Coast and Glens council members have been updated on works in the area by the Department for Infrastructure.
Speaking as he addressed council members this evening, Divisional Roads Manager Mr David Porter said:
“Over the past year, a number of significant resurfacing schemes have been completed including the A44 Drones Road, B62 Ballybogy Road, A37 Broad Road, A37 Dunhill Road and B62 Finvoy Road. In addition, work was completed on the U4081 Ballyveely Road, U5094 Ballyvennaght Road, U5086 Fairhead Road, U3344 Knockaduff Road and U3561 Sea Park, Castlerock as part of the roads recovery fund which addresses roads in immediate need of repair.”
Mr Porter also advised that the Network Development scheme for the provision of a new footway at Limavady Road, Garvagh, is complete. A cycle lane scheme at Somerset Road, Coleraine has also been completed. He said:
“This scheme provides cycle links from the large adjacent residential area to the Bann cycle path and the wider cycling infrastructure. Upgrading of the street lighting has also been carried out as part of the scheme. Improvements to the A29 Ballycastle Road Roundabout have also been completed to provide a two lane entry and exit for traffic travelling along the Ring Road. This scheme will improve throughput of traffic using the roundabout during busy peak hours and will also help reduce delays on the Ring Road during large events. These projects will provide widespread benefits to both the local community and commuters in the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area.”
Mr Porter continued:
“The Department continues to face significant Resource and Capital budget challenges. Since 2013 the Department has relied on in year funding to deliver 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. It should enable the maintenance of drinking water and sewerage networks, but 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 2018-19, 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 £400 million per year is needed to safeguard these assets, more than double what the Department has available.
“Recent independent reports have highlighted that funding for roads maintenance has been below the level required for some time. While we would like to have increased funding for structural maintenance this year, the best we have been able to do is to keep it at a similar level to last year and 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 Causeway Coast and Glens 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 50 millimetre.”
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.
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