10/05/2024

Other News In Brief

£455,000 Programme Of Roadworks Announced In Kilcoo

The Department for Infrastructure has announced a £455,000 carriageway resurfacing scheme on A25 Dublin Road Kilcoo, set to get underway on Monday 20 May.

The resurfacing scheme will involve the asphalt resurfacing of a 1.3 kilometre stretch of the Dublin Road from the Ballymoney Road junction to the Hilltown Road junction.

Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd said: "This is a substantial investment for the Kilcoo area which will deliver significant benefits for residents and road users. The investment demonstrates my commitment to improving our road network, which is vital for connecting our businesses and communities. This work will greatly improve the strength and surface quality of this section of the road network to the benefit of local residents, businesses and those travelling between Castlewellan/Downpatrick and Newry/Rathfriland. Work is expected to be substantially completed by Friday 14 June 2024. I would like to thank residents, local businesses and commuters for their patience while this essential infrastructure work is carried out."

To facilitate the safe delivery of the scheme it will be necessary to implement road closures from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm, Monday to Friday, from Monday 20 May to Friday 14 June 2024. The road will be open to traffic overnight and at the weekends.

Appeal For Information Following Fatal Collision In Cultra

The PSNI have issued an appeal for information and witnesses following a fatal collision outside Holywood on Thursday, 09 May.

Shortly after 2pm yesterday, police received a report of a collision involving a black Hyundai i30 near the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum in Cultra.

Officers attended the scene alongside colleagues from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, Air Ambulance and Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service.

The driver of the Hyundai, a man aged in his 60s, was pronounced dead at the scene.
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An investigation is ongoing and officers would ask anyone with any information, or who may have dash-cam or mobile phone footage available, to get in contact with them at the Collision Investigation Unit in Sprucefield on 101, quoting reference number 994 09/05/24.

Alliance Concerned Health Minister Has Yet To Engage With Unions

The Alliance Party has expressed concern at the lack of personal engagement from the Health Minister with unions, ahead of junior doctor strikes planned for 22nd - 24th May and 6th - 8th June.

During a Health Committee meeting on Thursday (9 May), representatives from the British Medical Association (BMA) said they had only met with officials from the Department of Health, rather than the Minister. They also reported that there was no indication of any willingness to discuss the issues of pay, giving the impression that the door was firmly shut on such talks.

Following the Health Committee, Alliance Health Spokesperson Nuala McAllister MLA, said: "I am extremely concerned to hear that the Minister of Health has neglected to engage with representatives from the BMA ahead of industrial action from junior doctors which is planned in the coming weeks.

"Junior doctors are a vital element of the health service in Northern Ireland, yet they receive less pay and operate in poorer conditions than junior doctors in neighbouring jurisdictions which inevitably leads to issues in recruitment and retention.

"The Minister has made his stance on the budget position clear. However, Alliance has continually highlighted the opportunity to find efficiencies within the health system that are currently being missed. We are now facing industrial action as a last resort due to the Department of Health's lack of action, causing significant disruption.

"This is why Alliance is bringing a motion to the Assembly ahead of these strikes calling on the Health Minister to urgently and meaningfully engage with the BMA around junior doctor pay. Junior doctors play a vital role in the future of Northern Ireland's healthcare, and it is crucial they have our support."

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