Derry City and Strabane 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 McKinley said:
“Over the past year, good progress continues to be made on a number of strategic roads infrastructure projects including the A6 Derry to Dungiven and Castledawson to Randalstown dualling schemes. Development work is also continuing on the A5 Londonderry to Ballygawley dualling and the A2 Buncrana Road upgrade.
“Significant resurfacing schemes have also been completed including the Strand Road, Broad Bridge and Foyleside roundabouts, Woodend Road at Ballymagorry and Glenshane Road at Tirglassan. In addition work was completed on the Caw Roundabout, Ligford Road, Drumlegagh Church Road and Bonds Glen Road as part of the roads recovery fund which addresses roads in immediate need of repair.”
Mr McKinley also advised that the Network Development scheme for the provision of new footways at Woodend Road, Ballymagorry and at Bradley Way/ Carrick Strand, Strabane are now complete, 20 accessible parking bays have been added to the network and traffic calming has been provided at a number of locations including Moss Road, Glengalliagh and Braehead Road, Nixons Corner. Street lighting measures include the replacement of high masts at Lecky Road Flyover and LED lantern replacements at a number of locations throughout the council area. Mr McKinley added:
“The reconstruction and widening of Ballynameen Bridge, Claudy including the removal of the temporary footbridge is now complete. The flooding event which damaged Ballynameen Bridge also caused damage at the base of a number of bridges and foundation repairs have been completed on these.
“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 Derry City and Strabane area.”
Mr McKinley 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 highlight 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 Derry City and Strabane 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 millimetres.”
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
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