Funding cut for Magherafelt district roads maintenance

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LESS money will be spent on roads maintenance in Magherafelt district over the next year, the local Council heard.

Divisional Roads Manager Pat Doherty said that structural maintenance would be about 22 per cent less than the five years average to 2010/11.

“This has a direct and major impact on funding for resurfacing which will be of the order of £310k, but started last year at £1514k,” said Mr Doherty.

“The only commitments I am therefore able to make is the Trunk Road Network Scheme on the A29 Tobermore Road, Maghera, Union Street, Magherafelt and Station Road, Castledawson.

“However I am hoping that additional in-year funding will become available and allow delivery of some of the schemes listed provisionally in the resurfacing programme which includes stretches of the Clady Road, Portglenone and the Drumagarner Road, Kilrea.”

In his annual report to council, Mr Doherty reminded members that in the Magherafelt District, £3.8m was spent on structural maintenance during 2011/12. 88 per cent of this the spend was on the District’s minor route network.

“The year end figures showed a substantial increase on the initial budget of £2.9m and that starting point was 50 per cent higher than the average for the five years prior to 2010/11,” he went on.

“In total 11.6 kilometres of carriageway were resurfaced, the most significant schemes being the A29 Coleraine Road, Maghera, A31 Moneymore Road, Magherafelt, A54 Oldtown Road, Hillhead and the B40 Derrynoyd Road, Draperstown.”

Continuing, he said for the 2012-13 year, funding available for Local Transport and Safety Measures schemes including Bridge Strengthening and Street Lighting is limited to £345k for the district.

“This will be sufficient to construct an undertaking facility on the Tobermore road at the junction of Ballynahone road, a mini roundabout at Church Street, Maghera and traffic calming scheme in Parkmore and Derramore, Magherafelt, and provision of a Puffin crossing at Rainey Street, Magherafelt, as well as other schemes,” he added.

Mr Doherty added that Roads Service would continue with planning and preparation for the extension of the successful Park and Share/Ride facilities adjacent to Castledawson Roundabout, with a view to construction in the following years.