The Strangford MLA stated: “People in rural communities across Northern Ireland are aware of the abysmal neglect of country roads in Northern Ireland. We are left with the tail end of funding and, as a result, even basic resurfacing projects are put back years.
“As well as the growth in the amount of traffic on such roads due to increasing populations in rural locations, there is an important safety issue there. Rural roads claim the vast majority of lives taken on our transport network, and so it is rural roads that need the bulk of the investment.
“As well as this, the £400m announced by Government illustrates a focus on roads rather than public transport. Greater thought must be given to encouraging the use of buses and trains.
“There is a two-month consultation period, and I would urge people to ensure that the money is wisely spent on making our roads safer, and to make sure the Government also factors public transport into its thinking. We have seen cutbacks in Government funding for roads projects over the past couple of years, so we will need to be very clear about where this additional money is coming from, and what the priorities for spending are.”