East Antrim Ulster Unionist Assemblyman Roy Beggs MLA, who serves as the Party Infrastructure Spokesperson has questioned the Departments strategy that sees it plough on with plans to develop new roads, while current road networks remain riddled with potholes and temporary repairs as a result of the inadequate investment in planned roads resurfacing .
Mr Roy Beggs MLA said “I would have to question why the Infrastructure Minister is focused on building new roads when it is a fact that inadequate capital funding is being committed to resurface our existing road networks. 16,177 (15%) of road defects remain unrepaired out of 109,641 reported issues in the last year. Without a significant increase in the roads capital resurfacing budget and without additional investment in our current network, the Department will continue to face huge numbers of potholes and the high expense of pothole repairs which often are only a temporary fix. I would urge the Executive to properly fund our resurfacing budget and ensure there are funds for emergency repairs before we consider developing further road infrastructure, for example the Narrow Water Bridge proposal and lightly used sections of the A5 proposal which were flagged up in the interim planning report.
Within my own East Antrim constituency there appears to be a large divergence in outstanding pothole repairs with Antrim & Newtownabbey Borough Council sitting at 18% compared to the 10% figure in Mid & East Antrim Borough Council.”
Notes to editor: the latest figures on pot holes were released as a result of an Assembly Question by Andy Allen MLA which is reported on the BBC https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-59226253