27/08/2003

Roads Service says works schemes ahead of schedule

Northern Ireland's drivers can breathe a huge sigh of relief today after the Roads Service revealed it had completed a major programme of summer road maintenance schemes "on or ahead of schedule".

David Orr, Roads Service’s Director of Network Services, said that increased funding meant that work on other less disruptive schemes would continue throughout the year, but every effort would continue to be made to reduce inconvenience to motorists.

He added: “Roads Service has been allocated around £75 million for roads maintenance during the current year as opposed to just £40 million a few years ago. This brings us up for the first time to the level of investment recommended by the Regional Transportation Strategy."

Among the road works ahead of schedule were the A2 Greenisland scheme; the resurfacing of the A1 north of Banbridge; the most disruptive part of the Ormeau Road and Newtownards Road schemes, which will be finished by the start of school term; and the A2 scheme at Holywood, which will be finished on schedule in mid-September. Also the disruptive part of the Melmount Road scheme in Strabane is set to finish before the start of the school term.

“With 99% of all trips made by road, including 99% of freight compared to 70% in England, it is vital for the social and economic development of Northern Ireland, not to mention safety of motorists, that our roads are maintained properly," Mr Orr said.

“We will continue to keep motorists informed about roadworks through issuing leaflets for the most disruptive schemes, advance signs, putting roadworks reports on our website. We will also publicise planned roadworks through our website at www.trafficwatchni.com, while anyone seeking real-time traffic information in the Belfast area can ring the Traffic Hotline on 0845 7123321.

(MB)

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