Muir: Additional resources needed for maintenance works

Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson Andrew Muir has said now is the time to put additional resources into planned maintenance works, as the issues are piling up, yet money allocated has largely remained the same for years.

The North Down MLA was speaking after the latest budget allocation for essential maintenance was revealed, adding while it was welcome street lighting, resurfacing works and grass cutting would continue, it wasn’t nearly on a big enough scale to make a significant difference.

He said: “Across each area in Northern Ireland there is a growing list of maintenance issues that need attention. As the months and years go our road infrastructure gets more worn, yet the department has rarely allocated additional funds meaning it is almost always playing catch up.

“Take grass cutting and street lighting – just two examples of how more is needed and yet we are expected to be satisfied with an additional cut and a small funding increase – we need more clarity. The Department has to outline their full plans and how they will be able to meet growing demand, including bidding for more monies later in the year.

“As we emerge from lockdown, our infrastructure must be able to support our economic aims and the new normal that life will take on. That includes ensuring roads are safe as we encourage more pedestrians and cyclists to use them. The days of overgrown grass verges and faulty streetlights must be a thing of the past and only a detailed plan will make this a reality.

“I’m currently working to establish a full programme of works in North Down and would encourage anyone with any issue to get in touch so we can add your concerns to the list.”