Stormont has just returned after quite an extended hiatus and one of the issues playing on people’s minds in that time is about to be addressed.
Potholes, the bane of drivers’ lives!
Back on the hill and ready to fill, the return of a Northern Ireland Executive at Stormont has seen a cool £1 million dedicated to address these dreadful defects.
Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd has said an additional £1 million is to be invested in road maintenance with a focus on addressing the pothole problem.
The additional funding will be spent on addressing the issue before the end of this financial year, which is just over six weeks away.
Currently about 7,000 potholes a month are fixed but the Minister has acknowledged that more needs to be done.
This extra allocation will go some way to address the roads with the most significant need.
Minister O’Dowd said: “Repairing potholes is a routine operation for my roads staff who have been working as hard as they can to stay on top of the issue.
“Unfortunately, a number of factors has recently made the situation worse. For the last decade the Department has been operating in a challenging financial position due to British Government cuts and austerity which has had an impact on road maintenance activities and the overall condition of the road network.
“Add to that, the impact of climate change, with the wettest October in over 153 years of records, which caused severe damage to some roads across the North.
“This £1million investment today is the start of addressing the problem, it’s a statement of intent that I will seek out the investment to improve our road networks for motorists and cyclists.
“This is a positive announcement which will have a real impact on road users. I will continue to press for vital funding to ensure our roads are maintained to a high standard.”