McGlone writes to Permanent Secretary at the Department for Infrastructure about years of under-investment and neglect of rural roads

SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone, has warned that the years of under-investment and neglect of our rural roads must be addressed. The Mid Ulster MLA has written to the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Infrastructure, Peter May, highlighting the dangerous state of the rural road network in the constituency.

Mr McGlone said, “I welcome the recent announcement that £75 million is to be made available for the 2018/19 starting budget for roads structural maintenance.

“However, it is vital that this funding is properly directed to address the years of under-investment and neglect of our rural roads.

“Many of our rural areas, already neglected down the years, are now suffering even worse as a consequence of more recent lack of investment in overall maintenance. That, with a legacy of under-investment, has left many rural communities at a big disadvantage in terms of social and economic development.

“In the rural areas of Mid-Ulster many roads have fallen into dangerous structural disrepair – resulting in increased claims for damage caused to vehicles.

“In the continued absence of a locally accountable Minister, I have written to the department’s Permanent Secretary highlighting the importance of addressing this long-standing problem.

“I have urged the Department to meet its obligations under the Rural Needs Act, and to set in place the strategic planning direction needed to help redress years of under-investment and neglect of our rural roads.

“Our rural roads network is an important lifeline for local communities and is essential for the success of our rural economy.

“The SDLP will continue to lobby on behalf of our constituents to ensure that the rural roads network is maintained to the highest possible standard.”