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.
Notes to Editors
- 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.
- 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 email@example.com
Quarry Products Association NI