‘Budgetary outlook spells disaster for South Armagh roads’ – Byrne

Posted by
Wednesday, January 31st, 2018
Community, Politics

SDLP Slieve Gullion Councillor Pete Byrne has said the scenarios presented in the Budgetary Outlook for 2018-2020 spells disaster for South Armagh roads.

Speaking to Newry Times, Byrne said, “The purpose of the Budgetary Outlook is to set out broad strategic issues that will inform an incoming Executive’s decisions on Budget from now until 2020 including those within the Department of Infrastructure.



“In the last couple of weeks in particular I have been inundated with requests for potholes to be fixed and people commenting on the gradual deterioration of roads. The Budgetary Outlook presents a depressing picture for road users particularly in the already crumbling roads of rural South Armagh,” he warned.

“Earlier this week it was revealed that the Department of Infrastructure are now operating a reduced maintenance service. What this means in practice for road users is that the depth for repairing potholes on roads with a lower traffic flow has doubled to 4 inches.

“That means cars will have to navigate ankle deep craters before anything is done about it. The Budgetary Outlook will only compound this problem further which has proposed cuts for every year until 2020 which spells disaster for South Armagh roads.



“People are angry and rightly so, it is absolutely ludicrous for the Department of Infrastructure to encourage road users to adjust the way they drive to take into account the poor condition of roads.

Byrne continued, “I would of course always encourage road users to drive safely, but tell that to the Ambulance Service who already find it difficult to reach areas of South Armagh in an emergency. People in this region deserve basic infrastructure which is adequately maintained.

“This is why I called for any proposed cuts to future budgets to be rural proofed at last week’s meeting of the Strategic, Policy and Resource Committee.

“I have said many times before that I will continue to challenge inequality wherever it exists and for too long rural communities in South Armagh have fallen through the cracks. We are also expecting Roads NI to address our next meeting of the Slieve Gullion DEA where I will continue to address the concerns of local people,” the local Councillor added.



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