Quarry Products Association of Northern Ireland
Gordon Best QPANI Regional Director news
 
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January 2007

NEW YEAR CHEER AS ROADS GET FINANCIAL GIFT

Companies and their employees involved in maintaining Northern Irelands roads, and indeed the travelling public, were handed a New Year present today when Roads Service announced that Government have allocated an additional £12 million for the maintenance of the deteriorating roads network.

Commenting on the announcement Gordon Best, Regional Director of the Quarry Products Association NI, the industry body that represents 95% of companies involved in road resurfacing, said. “This is excellent news for the industry and our employees” The extra funding is much needed as our roads network has been deteriorating at an ever increasing rate due to inadequate investment. However we will not be getting carried away as the extra £12 million still leaves us short of the funding for last year and way below the £95 million that all expert opinion states is required to maintain the network. A roads network that is valued at some £20 billion.

The QPANI along with a number of other organisations, Politicians and Councillors have been lobbying intensely over the past two years to have the maintenance of our roads given a higher priority by Government. Hopefully the message has now got through and we will now see a change in Government policy that will see funding for roads maintenance ring fenced and set at levels envisaged in the Regional Transportation strategy.

The industry now looks forward to the New Year, working with Roads Service to deliver excellent value for money and quality to the Northern Ireland tax payer,” Mr Best added.

Ends

Notes to Editors

THE FACTS

  • Industry allocation in 2004/05 £52 million - Allocation in 2006/07 £25 million.

Total roads maintenance spend in 04/05 – £72 million
Total roads maintenance spend in 0506 – £67 million
Proposed roads maintenance spend in 06/07 – £43 million

  • Roads Network valued at £20billion - impossible to maintain it at less than 1/4 of 1% of its value.
  • The level of current roads maintenance spending is significantly below that which best practice would indicate is required for the roads network on an annual basis.
  • The current level of roads maintenance does not meet the levels as recommended by the NI Audit Office, the Departments ( DRD ) own external Consultant, the Institute of Civil Engineers and the Departments own Corporate Plan that states the level of Roads Structural Maintenance in Northern Ireland should be sustained at a level in the region of £90 million.
  • Industry has made significant investments in plant, machinery and training based on levels of maintenance spend indicated in the Regional Transportation Strategy.
  • The road surfacing industry in Northern Ireland delivers the best value for money than in any other region of the UK.

THE EFFECTS

  • This level of maintenance cuts will result in up to 300 employees being made redundant.
  • The cuts will result in higher levels of insurance claims and have safety implications for the general public.
  • Levels of investments by companies will not be sustained.
  • Northern Ireland PLC will fall behind its neighbours in being an attractive place for inward investment.
  • The new Local Councils will pay for under spend in rural roads maintenance as a result of the review of public administration.

For further information please contact the Regional Director, Quarry Products Association, Nutts Corner Business Park, Crumlin BT29 4SR Tel 02890824078 Fax 028 90825103 email info@qpani.org

Quarry Products Association NI

 
 
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