News

Road repaired 224 times by Department for Infrastructure

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

THE Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has revealed that it has repaired approximately 224 defects on Upper Dromore Road, Warrenpoint, in 2017.

A spokesperson for the DfI revealed the figures to The Newry Democrat following the news that the road came second on the top five roads in Northern Ireland for defects last year.

It was reported that the Upper Dromore Road had 97 defects, just 11 less than Summerhill Cherry Road in Dunmurry.

However, the DfI also said that it had received just 10 complaints regarding the Warrenpoint road in 2017.

Crotlieve councillor Declan McAteer, who has previously highlighted the poor condition of the road, said that he had counted 27 defects in one night.

"I have been observing that road for the past number of months and that's why I carried out an inspection myself to see how many defects there were," said the SDLP councillor.

"They're either not carrying out any repairs or they're not doing it at the right time.

"Street lights were out and the traffic islands were either damaged by traffic, dirty or else the lights were out in them. All these different hazards added to up to 27 defects that I counted. Not to mention the potholes.

"You can see why it's number two on the disgrace charts."

Councillor McAteer believes that if Newry, Mourne and Down District Council was responsible for the upkeep of roads in the area there would be a dramatic improvement.

"I think if we had the power and a decent budget we would be able to look after our local roads," he said.

"I'm watching the Upper Dromore Road to see if the DfI will react to this public pressure. They're going to have to step up to the mark on this one."

A spokesperson for the DfI explained that they have been operating in a "challenging budgetary position" for some time and this has had an impact on all road maintenance activities and the condition of the road network.

"In addition, the recent winter weather has had an impact on the road network, with water ingress and freeze thaw action after heavy rainfall and cold snaps leading to the formation of more potholes," continued the spokesperson.

"Public safety remains a key priority for the department and despite the budgetary situation, the department has in this financial year delivered a significant programme of resurfacing and surface dressing and continues to carry out a programme of routine maintenance, including pothole repairs to meet all essential public safety requirements.

"The highest priority potholes are currently being repaired and this includes, in many instances, defects up to 100mm in depth. "However, on low traffic rural roads only potholes over 100mm are currently being repaired."

The spokesperson concluded that the Department of Finance recently published a briefing paper outlining a number of future budget scenarios and that any budget allocation will be for a future Minister of Infrastructure.

Members of the public can report a pothole on https://www.nidirect.gov.uk/services/report-pothole

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