‘Daily £85k RHI cost would fix a lot of Newry roads’ – McNulty
SDLP MLA Justin McNulty has claimed that the £85k currently being spent on a daily basis covering the over-spend costs of the botched RHI scheme would go a long way to improve the road infrastructure across Newry and Armagh.
Speaking to Newry Times, McNulty said, “There is a real anger in local communities about the handling of the RHI scheme by Arlene Foster and the outgoing executive.
“Equally there is a real anger about the state of many of our rural roads. It’s nothing short of a disgrace the condition of many roads and I fear it will only get worse as the Executive has to cut spending to cover the £500million costs of the RHI scheme.
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“In recent weeks I have travelled day and night across this constituency and the state of many roads is appalling. Local householders have told me that in some cases it’s been decades since their roads were resurfaced and it really is evident,” he insisted.
“I witnessed potholes so deep you would lose a car in them. Drainage is so poor that surface water is flowing down the road like a stream and in some areas the roadside is collapsing away. The Executive has its priorities all wrong.
“They are spending £85,000 every day trying to cover the overrun costs of the RHI scheme. I can’t help but think of the improvements to rural roads that could be made with just two weeks of payments currently being diverted to the RHI scheme. £1.2million would go a long way to improving the roads in Madden, Derrynoose, Granemore, Clady, Mullaghbawn, Cullyhanna and Forkhill.
“The Minister and some of his party colleagues were recently boasting that he has invested £10million on 1000 rural roads, but they must have missed out this constituency. It is very clear that there is a real lack of investment in our local roads infrastructure.
McNulty added, “The Minister and the Executive need to get a grip of this issue, investing now to improve and protect our roads will save in the long term. The more they let the roads fall into disrepair the more it is going to cost to repair them in the future.”