SDLP MLA for Mid Ulster, Patsy McGlone, has welcomed the allocation of £15million for a ‘roads recovery plan’ by the Department for Infrastructure. The plan was revealed in response to the Mid Ulster MLA’s recent letter to the Permanent Secretary of the Department, Peter May, highlighting the dangerous state of the rural road network in the constituency.
Mr McGlone said, “I welcome the allocation of £15million by the Department for Infrastructure for a ‘roads recovery plan’ to address small stretches of road with multiple defects.
“By targeting areas of the road network in greatest need the Department expects this approach to benefit rural and other areas suffering most significantly from road deterioration.
“This allocation is part of the recently announced £75 million made available for the 2018/19 starting budget for roads structural maintenance.
“The remaining £60million is to be used for normal resurfacing, road dressing and structural drainage programmes.
“The current limited routine road maintenance programme is to continue with an additional grass cut per year.
“In the continued absence of a locally accountable Minister, I had written to the department’s Permanent Secretary highlighting the dangerous structural disrepair of many roads in the rural areas of Mid-Ulster.
“This response should help alleviate the immediate problem, but much more will need to be done to 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.
“In recent months I have relayed numerous concerns regarding problems on our local roads to the Transport NI Section Office.
“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.”