Funding to be explored for Newry to Crossmaglen road
Sinn Fein Councillor Colman Burns has proposed that Road Service Officials, with support from Newry Council, put together a bid for Interreg funding to tackle the ongoing problems associated with the B30, Newry to Crossmaglen Road.
Burns was speaking at a Council meeting on last Wednesday where Road Service Officers had come to introduce their Annual Report. This report outlines the works undertaken last year, on local roads and indicates the proposed work for the District in the coming year. While councillors welcomed news in the report on some projects, there was disappointment over projects that went unacknowledged in this year’s programme of works, due to a lack of finances.
Speaking to Newry Times, Councillor Burns explained, “Councillors were informed of a huge reduction in this year’s finances. Although £3.7 million might seem a lot of money, when stretched from Culloville to Annalong, it is totally inadequate to deal with the many faults on our roads. This figure is down one third on last year’s budget. Every year, we learn that the B30 has failed to get prioritization due to the huge expenses needed to tackle the many dangers on this road.”
He continued, “Small works are often undertaken but in the case of Silverbridge Hill, where two buses cannot meet without causing a huge traffic jam as they try to negotiate their way around each other, we see that much of the road continues to be overlooked. We have been told that huge finances would be needed to widen this section of the road; finances that are simply not available.”
“As a councillor for this area I cannot simply accept that this is the end of the line regarding the B30 project and for this reason have made the proposal to lobby Interreg for the necessary finance. I believe this work is essential to tackle the lack of economic growth in this part of south Armagh. The huge safety issues deter larger vehicles from travelling on the road. Translink have previously pledged their support for any improvements and would, undoubtedly, lend their voice to any application for European monies.”
Councillor Burns concluded, “I think that a strong application could be made to Interreg based on safety concerns and the fact that this is a recognised area of neglect. Europe has funded road projects before and I cannot see any reason why we should not lobby for financial assistance for a complete reconstruction of the B30 road.”
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