Muir slams North Down Roads Report

Andrew Muir MLA at Spencer Street, Holywood

North Down Alliance MLA and Party Infrastructure spokesperson Andrew Muir has voiced his profound disappointment the Department for Infrastructure have failed to grasp opportunity to tackle massive backlog of roads re-surfacing in the North Down area.

Andrew Muir MLA said: "The Department for Infrastructure submitted their annual budget and plan to Council on 12 October which details work carried out last year and sets out the upcoming works for the financial year 2021/2022. It is unacceptable that we have just had sight of this, six months into the financial year. My office is contacted daily by constituents who have watched on, year after year, as the state of our roads and footways continue to fall into a further state of disrepair after years of neglect. We need to get the basics right and this begins with a road network that’s fit for purpose.

The Department needs to buck up its ideas after failing to bid for more monies this year and handing back £1 million in the last year as a result of a lamentable failure to spend on road resurfacing projects hitting North Down hard. Just because procurement issues exist in some other Council areas is no excuse for the failure to get cracking on sorting roads and pavements across North Down, if anything more works ought to be occurring whilst works suspended elsewhere. 

I find it incredulous that some essential works in the North Down area have not been included in this current plan. A few urgent works I have been requesting over the last couple of years include, but not limited to: re-surfacing on Patton’s Lane in Holywood where I am only too aware of people falling and injuring themselves in recent months. Add to this Spencer Street in Holywood, Groomsport Road in Bangor, a pedestrian crossing request on the Rathgael Road near Lynn Hall development in Bangor and so many more. The pace and scale of delivery by the Department for Infrastructure is simply not good enough, real change is needed to give North Down good quality, safe roads and pavements. 

Concluding, Andrew Muir MLA stated “I do however welcome the good news that within the plan we will see essential resurfacing work take place on Holywood High Street and Kinnegar Drive, Holywood, two areas I have long been campaigning for action on. The Department said these works were still in the design phase and timeframes have yet to be completed, I will check back on progress around this in the coming months as someone determined to see the works done, without delay.”