‘Skeleton service’ on roads maintenance

One of the pot holes at Kitchen Hill.
One of the pot holes at Kitchen Hill.

Transport NI (formerly Roads Service) is only offering a skeleton service, the local council has been told.

The department’s Southern Divisional Manager, Simon Richardson, told a meeting of Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council budgetary pressures had hit roads maintenance.

He commended roads staff and contractors for the successful completion of road schemes in 2014/2015.

The scheme accounted for a £19.3 million investment in the roads infrastructure in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon council area.

The Divisional Manager said: “The current budgetary pressures have meant that TNI has not been able to deliver the usual level of maintenance on roads in recent months.

“Efforts continue to be made to seek additional funding through monitoring rounds but TNI are only able to deliver a skeleton service currently. That means that only the highest priority potholes will be repaired and gully emptying and grass cutting services are being provided on a reduced scale. There will be limited maintenance of white lines and only one quarter of the required resource available to repair street lighting outages.

“Contractors will still be employed to carry out electrical inspection and testing of street lights and the repair of hazardous electrical and structural defects.

“However, despite the cuts, a wide range of road improvement and maintenance schemes were completed in 2014/15 in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon area and a number are planned or already complete in the current financial year.”

Mr Richardson outlined a number of improvement and maintenance schemes that were completed in 2014/15.

He said: “I am pleased to note that sightline and junction improvement schemes completed include A3 Monaghan Road/Knockbane Road Junction, Middletown and A26 Tullyraine Road/Old Bann Road, Waringstown.

“Other significant areas of work completed by the Division include a bridge replacement scheme at Mowhan Bridge, Markethill as well as the provision of the one way link road at Gospel Lane, Banbridge. Works completed in 2014/15 also include carriageway widening on Northway between Seagoe Road junction to the traffic signals at Kernan loop and also a traffic management and resurfacing project A3 Friary Road/Dobbin Street junction, Armagh.

“Approximately 122 lane km of carriageway was resurfaced at locations including B2 Lurgan Road, Dromore; A3 Lake Road, Craigavon and A50 Gilford Road Portadown.”