Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council members have been updated by the local Divisional Roads Manager on works being undertaken in 2021/22, at the Department for Infrastructure's recent council meeting.
Speaking as he addressed council members on Monday, November 29, Divisional Roads Manager, Mr Kevin Monaghan, said:
"This year we have continued to deliver our programmes whilst dealing with the impacts of Covid-19 on our organisation and contractors.
"Major resurfacing schemes have recently been completed on the West Wind Terrace, Clogher Road and the B2 Dromore Road. Further major resurfacing schemes programmed for completion this financial year include the A24 Carryduff Roundabout, Belsize Road Phase 1 and Railway Street, Derriaghy. These schemes are due to be commenced very shortly."
Mr Monaghan also highlighted Minister Mallon's commitment to investing in improved safety measures outside schools and informed the Council of eight locations across the Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council area where 20 mph speed limits have already been installed with plans for a further tranche of five schools in the council area this financial year.
"Street lighting measures promoted include LED retrofits at Beech Hill- Prospect Park, Lakeland Manor, Annahilt and Dalboyne. Minor works programmed include Millreagh Drive, Dundonald - with the provision of a combined cycle and footway link between Millreagh Drive and Carrowreagh Road, Dundonald. These projects will benefit local communities and will provide significant benefits for road users including pedestrians and cyclists."
Continuing, Mr Monaghan added:
"The opening 2021/22 structural maintenance capital budget is Pound 80 million for Northern Ireland. This includes Pound 17m within the 'road recovery fund' which is a 50% increase on last year and the highest level of funding directed to a specific rural roads initiative by any Minister to date. The Minister has also allocated funding to allow protection of a full street lighting repair service for the entire year within very challenging budgetary constraints.
"Divisional allocations have been confirmed and I am pleased to note that on the Capital side these are broadly similar to last year. Resource allocations will allow the Department to maintain the road network in a similar way to last year and I once again I am pleased to report the Minister has allocated sufficient funding to ensure a full street lighting repair service for the entire year and this is to be welcomed."
Mr Monaghan also updated members on active travel and blue/ green projects for the Lisburn & Castlereagh area which includes completion of Phase 3 of the Blaris Greenway. He commented that since coming to office Minister Mallon has emphasised her commitment to improving active travel and this year is investing Pound 20million to her Blue/Green fund, with Pound 11million towards active travel. She has also created a number of new posts across the Department to help deliver more opportunities for walking, wheeling and cycling.
Mr Monaghan continued:
"Road safety for pedestrians and cyclists is also paramount and plans are underway for further schemes. These include junction improvements and carriageway widening to control traffic movements at McKinstry Road, the Cutts and Derriaghy Road. Provision of enhanced pedestrian and cycling facilities including staggered pedestrian crossings and widened footways."
Concluding, Mr Monaghan said:
"Local officials will continue to develop local transport and safety schemes and maintenance programmes to enhance safety, improve traffic flow and provide measures for pedestrians and cyclists. As the year progresses we will continue to bid for additional funding to maintain the integrity of the road network and additional schemes will be implemented if funding becomes available through the rest of year.
"I would encourage Councillors to continue to contact the relevant members of my staff in relation to operational matters and they will do their best to assist."