Muir raises lack of investment in North Down Roads with Infrastructure Minister

Andrew Muir MLA raising issue with Infrastructure
Minister in Assembly Chamber on Tuesday 20 October 2020

North Down Alliance MLA Andrew Muir has raised the lack of investment in North Down roads with the Infrastructure Minister in the Assembly Chamber on Tuesday 20 October 2020 mentioning he has “a list the length of my arm of roads in the North Down constituency that require repair and maintenance”.

Commenting on the issue, Andrew Muir MLA stated “During Assembly proceedings we were informed by the Minister of staggering amounts paid out partly due poor roads maintenance but yet only £1million in additional funding has been sought in the October Monitoring Round to cover Minor Works, Local Transport and Safety Measures to get roads and pavements resurfaced, pot holes fixed and other key local measures. 

With so many roads and other infrastructure are in real need of action locally in North Down but yet only half a dozen selected this year for repair and resurfacing it’s incredible just £1million more funding has been sought for all of Northern Ireland. I would again urge the Minister to explore every avenue possible to ensure chronic under investment in Infrastructure across North Down and beyond is tackled.”

Infrastructure Minister stated on 20 October 2020 in response to a Question from Andy Allen MLA “I can confirm that, during the six full financial years from 2014-15 to 2019-2020, £13·1 million in roads-related public liability compensation was paid in claims for vehicle damage, personal injury and property damage. During the same period, the Department received 18,452 public liability compensation claims and paid compensation in 10,453 cases. However, I wish to make it clear that claims received in one financial year are not always concluded within that financial year. Therefore, the figures that I have provided for cases where compensation was paid out, as well as the compensation amount, will include details for claims received in prior financial years. It has been independently established that, at today’s prices, some £143 million is needed to maintain the structural integrity of Northern Ireland’s road network. However, due to budget constraints, that amount has not been available over the period in question.

Muir welcomes plans to review Speed Limit on Ballyrobert Road

Andrew Muir MLA at Ballyrobert Road where calls
are being made to extend 30mph Speed Restriction to

North Down Alliance MLA Andrew Muir has welcomed commitment obtained from the Infrastructure Minister to review speed limits along the Ballyrobert Road after a long campaign led by local residents to extend the 30mph restriction to cover entire Crawfordsburn Village area.

Commenting on the issue, Andrew Muir MLA stated “Concerns about the speed of traffic travelling along the Ballyrobert Road in the area already designated as Crawfordsburn Village have been well documented and reported over the years but not yet resulting in action by Transport NI to reduce the speed limit from 60 to 30 miles per hour.

I am disappointed that Transport NI has persistently refused to reduce the limit to 30mph from Clandeboye Avenue to the current restriction ending at Crawfordsburn Filling Station despite many requests and motion jointly proposed by Alderman Marion Smith and I at Ards and North Down Borough Council. With many houses now built extending along the Ballyrobert Road to the Clandeboye Way it’s vital speed limits are reduced for the entire area designated as Crawfordsburn Village to avoid real risk of people being injured or worse as a result of cars proceeding at 60 mph in what is now a built up urban area.

Intervention of the Infrastructure Minister requesting that a new assessment is undertaken is therefore welcome after I raised the matter in a formal Assembly Question posed to Minister Mallon. I urge the Minister and Transport NI to fully consider the issue afresh and bring forward the much needed changes essential to safeguarding safety of local residents”

Alliance welcome planned Coastal Path repairs

Councillor Gillian Greer and Andrew Muir MLA
at collapsed section of Coastal Path due to be repaired

North Down Alliance representatives have welcomed plans by the Council to repair collapsed section of the Coastal Path after sustainable lobbying for action.

Alliance Councillors Gillian Greer, Martin McRandal and North Down MLA Andrew Muir have been campaigning for action since the path collapsed back in April. 

Commenting on the issue, Councillor Gillian Greer remarked “I am glad to now learn that the surveys have been conducted and works are be planned to fix the collapsed section. I would urge Council to ensure these works occur without delay before Winter weather arrives”. 

Also involved in the campaign was Councillor Martin McRandal who stated “The North Down Coastal Path is a popular well used way for people to exercise and relax. The collapse earlier this year was a real concern especially after the upgrade works which occurred in recent years. Hopefully this fix will be permanent and no further issues arise requiring yet more partial closures”. 

Concluding, Alliance MLA Andrew Muir stated ”It’s extremely disappointing section of this path collapsed only a few years after upgrade but encouraging work not to occur to fix the fault. With many more people out enjoying the outdoors I hope Council gets the path safely repaired as soon as possible as weather and tides permit”.

Alliance urges inclusion of North Down Schools in next 20mph scheme

Andrew Muir MLA and Councillor Connie Egan
at Clandeboye Road, Bangor near
Clandeboye Primary School 

North Down Alliance representatives have called upon the Minister for Infrastructure to include North Down Schools within any further scheme of part time 20 mph speed restrictions outside Schools after not a single location was selected for introduction of the much needed measures in the North Down area. 

Commenting on the issue, North Down Alliance MLA Andrew Muir stated “Many parents have contacted me profoundly disappointed to learn that not one single school was selected for introduction of the much needed measures to help improve safety of children, parents and staff alike. I have queried this directly with the Infrastructure Minister and am frustrated to learn that “none of the schools in the North Down area were ranked highly enough to be included within this year’s programme”. 

I have however taken the Minister up on her statement that “It is my intention for this programme to be rolled out over the coming years and therefore other schools, including those in North Down, will be considered for inclusion in future programme” by posing a further question urging her to set aside funding in 2021/22 Financial Year to include North Down Schools and will continue to follow-up this issue with vigour conscious of the real risks which continue to exist in the absence of any schemes outside so many busy schools” 

Alliance Councillor for Bangor West Councillor Connie Egan has also been contacted by concerned parents keen to see schemes rolled out without delay across North Down. 

Commenting on the matter, Councillor Egan stated “It has rightly been argued that part time 20 mph restrictions should be in place outside every school putting aside the pick and mix approach adopted the date. Without the funding to enable a full roll out across Northern Ireland every part of Northern Ireland North Down Schools really ought to be included in schemes. A further scheme which includes schools in North Down must be brought forward next year and something I will relentlessly follow-up to achieve”.