'Decaying' rural roads network needs additional funding

A Mid Ulster councillor has expressed concern about the decaying state of roads in the Loughshore area.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 10:14 am
Updated Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 2:45 pm

Sinn Féin member Gavin Bell highlighted the B160 through Ballinderry, which is a link road between the M1 and M2 motorways and a natural bypass of the towns and villages to avoid traffic congestion.

He said: “After a meeting with DfI Roads Officials and querying why these particular roads were in such a bad condition, I was given assurances that the local section office are developing a programme of works for the upcoming financial year and that the B160 to Ballinderry Bridge will receive further resurfacing. I very much welcome this and we look forward to seeing this implemented.

“There has been historical underinvestment in our rural roads network along the Loughshore. This has stretched back decades and very obvious when potholes exposed the old stone road underneath and an extremely thin layer of tarmac on top.

Potholes making life difficult for motorists in the Loughshore area.

“I would kindly request the Department for Infrastructure makes additional monies available for rural roads west of the Bann, in order to bring them up to a modern day standard. This is an issue that Minister Nichola Mallon needs to act on.

“Recently, it is my understanding there were additional funds within the Department of Finance, which could’ve been drawn down by the Department for Infrastructure, however a bid for that finance wasn’t brought forward by Minister Mallon. I would hope this opportunity isn’t missed given the desperate need for rural road improvements.”

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Councillor Gavin Bell.

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