£3.5m funds for roads welcome

MLA Sydney Anderson
MLA Sydney Anderson

A broad welcome has been made for the £3.5m investment in rural roads in the southern region.

Announced by Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard, a total of £10m will be pumped into improving the condition of rural roads.

It follows news that compensation claims paid for vehicles damaged on our local roads more than doubled over the past year.

The Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council area has the highest number of potholes in the whole of Northern Ireland.

Last year, 2014-15, a total of £9,664 was dished out in compensation while this year so far 2015-16 it soared to £20,900.

“These are projected figure which could be subject to change, said a spokespersom for the Department of Infrastructure (DfI)

DUP MLA Sydney Anderson welcomed the news. “I am fully aware that the disrepair of some of our rural roads is a major issue and in recent years I have continually lobbied for road improvement works to be carried out. I have also met Transport NI officials on site on many occasions.

“Ultimately, our rural communities depend on good rural roads to safely go about their daily lives. It is therefore vital that this initiative is proactive in dealing with the roads most in need of repair and improvement works.”

Meanwhile SDLP Cllr Declan McAlinden welcomed the Executive announcement. “Over my time as a councillor the majority of my issues have been dealing with is our rural roads and footpaths. Many of them are in a bad state and although TNI do their best with limited budgets I feel as a rural dweller along with my neighbours that we get the ‘leftovers ‘ and that ‘out of sight out of mind ‘ comes to fore.

“This is totally unacceptable and we all pay the same amount of taxes and rates and indeed as rural dwellers we probably pay more and get less back.

“I will be pressing TNI for more work in the Derrymacash/Derrytrasna areas on top of what I have been working on,” he added.