Fermanagh and Omagh 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 a strategic roads infrastructure projects including the Strathroy Link Road. Development work is also continuing on the A5 Londonderry to Ballygawley dualling, Enniskillen Southern Bypass and the A32 Enniskillen to Omagh route.
“Significant resurfacing schemes have been completed including the Sligo Road at Templeneffrin and Glencunney, Loughshore Road, Holme Bridge, Great Northern Road, Omagh and Killyclogher Road, Omagh. In addition work was completed on the Kirlish Road, Drumlegagh Road South, Clogherney Road, Shinnagh Road, Roscavey Road, Dresternan Road, Lisdead Road and Montiaghroe Road as part of the roads recovery fund which addresses roads in immediate need of repair.”
Mr McKinley also advised that further surcharge fill material to aid settlement has been placed for the road widening and realignment at the Derrylin Road at Derryhowlaght, a new puffin controlled crossing was provided at Maguiresbridge, new footways were provided at Killybrack Road, Omagh and shared footway / cycleway paths at Nutfield Road, Lisnaskea and Lough Yoan Road, Enniskillen. Street lighting measures include the replacement with LED lanterns at a number of locations throughout the council area including Great Northern Road and Beltany Road, Omagh and Dublin Road, Enniskillen. Bridge works included repairs following the 2017 flooding event and bridge replacements on the B82 and B83 at Eskragh.
Mr McKinley added:
“These projects will provide significant benefits to both the local community and enhance provision for all those walking and cycling, as well as those using roads in the Fermanagh and Omagh 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 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 can 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 Fermanagh and Omagh 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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