Alliance Strangford MLA Kellie Armstrong has called for the Infrastructure Minister to announce investment in roads in the Strangford constituency, rather than announce money already spent.
Responding to a statement from Minister Hazzard about investment in roads in Ards and North Down, Kellie Armstrong said: “This press release from the Minister is about what was invested last year – the investment had been part of a long term strategy agreed some years ago.
“The Minister is taking credit for the work of previous Ministers, and not for the first time. It’s about time he did some work and invested money in the rural roads in the Ards and Strangford constituency area, including Saintfield, Ballygowan, Darragh Cross, Ballynahinch, Killyleagh, and Killinchy.
“It would have been a lot more helpful if the Minister had announced further funding to sort out the dreadful state of the rural roads around the Peninsula that are being ignored by Transport NI. Locals complain that yellow markings on the road were sprayed so long ago that they are wearing away.
“The Minister and the Department are congratulating themselves on a job completed last year on the main commuter roads. There is no urgency within the Department to address the ongoing issue of potholes and collapsing road edges in rural areas.
“The Department has confirmed that over £17,000 was paid out in claims for vehicle damage in North Down and Ards last year. The Minister should think long and hard about road safety, part of his responsibility, and how poor road conditions are already damaging vehicles. None of us want poor road conditions to be a contributing factor in a road death.”