Armstrong calls for clarity around road safety in wake of budget news

Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has called for clarity from the Department for Infrastructure, after it announced its maintenance work budget was due to run out next month.

The £43 million is used to resurface roads and fix potholes, however the Department has announced it is almost done, months before the end of the financial year. It added any repairs after the end of October ‘will require additional resources becoming available’.

Strangford MLA Ms Armstrong said the Department needed to clarify the situation, given its commitment to road safety.

“The Department for Infrastructure is responsible for the maintenance of roads and to keep them safe, effective and reliable. Given this assessment of its budget, we need to have clarification that safety will not be put in jeopardy.

“While I appreciate the Department will be doing its best to deliver routine maintenance within its allocated budget, they must also plan ahead to meet essential public safety requirements. It is no longer appropriate for them to manage road maintenance through in-year budget hand-outs. There needs to be an appropriate balance between new road building and maintenance.

“Previous Ministers have recognised the need for planned maintenance but have chosen to invest in some projects more for populism than practicalities. Northern Ireland needs a safe road network with a planned maintenance programme, not waiting until roads are in crisis before repairing them.”

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