Transport Minister Danny Kennedy says that roads schemes across Northern Ireland must be prioritised due to limited funding.
The Minister was speaking during an Assembly debate on road infrastructure in the Beechfield and Ashfield estates in Donaghdee.
Kennedy (pictured) said that he had met with Alex Easton MLA and residents from the estates in May to discuss the conditions of the roads in the area.
He said: “At the meeting it was explained that funding for structural maintenance was limited and as a result the department had to prioritise all road schemes. To date this year we have received just over £60million for roads maintenance against a funding need of just under £130million.
“The footways in Beechfield estate were resurfaced some years ago and are in a satisfactory condition. In addition, the entire footway network in the Ashfield estate was replaced last year at a cost of £172,000 – a significant investment for a single area such as this.”
Continuing the Minister said that during the meeting residents were asked if they would prefer for work to be carried out on the roads within the estates or on the Northfield and Cannyreagh roads leading to the estates which are in a poor state of repair.
Kennedy added: “Residents indicated that they would prefer the Northfield and Cannyreagh roads to be addressed first. I am pleased to report that work has recently started on these roads.
“Carriageway resurfacing and footway reconstruction is substantially completed on Northfield. Preparatory works are taking place on Cannyreagh in advance of resurfacing. All of these works are due to be completed later this month at an estimated cost of £200,000 – a considerable investment in the area.”
Concluding the Minister said that the department has proposals to carry out resurfacing work in Beechfield and Ashfield estates at some time in the future.
He said: “Given the substantial investment on the schemes already underway in the area and taking into account the limited funding available to the department for these works, I cannot provide a commitment to carry out further works in these estates at this time.”