Mid and East Antrim Council members have been updated by the Department for Infrastructure on works being undertaken in 2021/22.
Speaking as he addressed council members this evening Divisional Roads Manager, Mr Colin Hutchinson, said:
“This year we have continued to deliver our programmes whilst dealing with the impacts of Covid-19 on our organisation and contractors.
“Major resurfacing schemes have recently been completed on the A2 Garron Road Carnlough, A36 Shaneshill Road Larne, B94 Rathkeel Road and Knockan Road Broughshane, and A26 Crankill Road Ballymena. Further major resurfacing schemes programmed for completion this financial year include A42 Galgorm Road Ballymena, M2 Ballymena Bypass and B93 Glebe Road Ahoghill. These schemes are due to be commenced very shortly.
“I am also pleased to note continued good progress on construction of the A6 Dungiven to Drumahoe dualling project and I can confirm that it is on target for completion this year.”
Mr Hutchinson also highlighted Minister Mallon’s commitment to investing in improved safety measures outside schools and informed councillors of a further 8 locations across the council area where 20 mph speed limits will be provided outside schools in this financial year.
Continuing Mr Hutchinson added:
“The overall 2021/22 structural maintenance capital budget is £85 million for Northern Ireland. Of this £17 million has been set aside for a roads recovery fund, which is being used to address areas of immediate need across the road network and £1.2 million has been allocated to the Mid and East Antrim area. This is the highest level of funding directed to a specific rural roads initiative by any Minister to date. The Department will continue to identify those roads in most need of repair and prioritise this work alongside other ongoing priorities.
“I also am pleased to report that despite significant resource budget pressures the Resource allocations received in 2021/22 will allow DfI Roads to maintain the road network to a similar standard as last year, including funding for a full street light repair service and Winter Gritting Service.”
Mr Hutchinson also updated members on active travel and blue/green projects for the Mid and East Antrim Council area. He commented that since coming to office Minister Mallon has emphasised her commitment to improving active travel and this year is investing £20 million to her Blue/Green fund, with £11 million towards active travel. She has also created a number of new posts across the Department to help deliver more opportunities for walking, wheeling and cycling.
Mr Hutchinson continued:
“Road safety for pedestrians and cyclists is also paramount and plans are underway for further schemes. These include a scheme to upgrade pedestrian and cycle provision along Larne Road Link and Antrim Road in Ballymena.”
Concluding Mr Hutchinson said:
“Local officials will continue to develop local transport and safety schemes and maintenance programmes to enhance safety, improve traffic flow and provide measures for pedestrians and cyclists.”