Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council members have been updated by the Department for Infrastructure on road maintenance, improvement works and active travel schemes in 2020/21 and those planned for 2021/22.
Speaking as he addressed Council members Divisional Roads Manager, Mr Colin Hutchinson said:
“The 2020/21 year was unprecedented due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. However we worked closely with our contractors to develop new working practices to ensure that much needed road maintenance and improvement works could proceed and as a result most of our 2020/21 programme was successfully delivered despite the absence of work over the first part of the year.
“During the year a number of significant resurfacing schemes have been completed including O’Neill Road, Newtownabbey, Belfast Road, Steeple Road and Fountain Hill, Antrim, Main Street, Crumlin, Staffordstown Road and Derrygowan Road, Toome and Church Road Ballynure.
“Minister Mallon is committed to the delivery of active travel schemes across Northern Ireland and to making walking and cycling a safer and more attractive option for people getting around. I am therefore pleased to note the completion of a £100,000 shared footpath/cycleway along O’Neill Road in Newtownabbey.
“As a result of receiving just under £1million of funding from the Minister’s Blue/Green Fund we will be progressing an additional five schemes in the 2021/22 year. These schemes will further enhance the active travel provision in the area.
“Earlier in this financial year Minister Mallon announced the roll out of part time 20mph speed limit schemes at 103 schools across Northern Ireland and I am pleased to confirm that seven schools across the Antrim and Newtownabbey Council area have already benefited from this programme. It is the Minister’s intention to take forward a further tranche of part-time 20mph speed limits at schools and all schools in the Antrim and Newtownabbey area will be assessed and prioritised to inform the 2021/22 programme.”
Continuing Mr Hutchison said:
“I am pleased to advise that this year’s initial capital allocation has been increased and this has allowed an increase in funding for structural maintenance across Northern Division in 2021‑22 including within the ‘road recovery fund’. This level of investment is very welcome as it moves towards the figures required annually to maintain the road network in a reasonable condition. Our main focus now is to seek to ensure that we have sufficient design and contracting resource available to deliver on this significant increase in capital funding. The Minister has also allocated funding to allow a full street lighting repair service for the entire year which is to be welcomed.
“My staff will continue to develop local transport and safety schemes and maintenance programmes to enhance safety, improve traffic progression and provide measures for pedestrians and cyclists.”
Concluding Mr Hutchinson said:
“I would also finally like to highlight a very successful year for the two A6 Flagship projects. You will be aware that we recently completed the Randalstown to Castledawson scheme and this has already brought significant benefits for the 22,000 vehicles using the route each day.
I’m also pleased to confirm that significant progress continues on the A6 Dungiven to Drumahoe scheme and it is due for completion next year.”
Notes to editors:
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