Durkan: Political failure responsible for state of roads

mark h durkan Infrastructure Roads

SDLP Opposition Infrastructure Spokesperson Mark H Durkan has said that the lack of an Executive at Stormont has contributed to the state of the North’s roads.

He was speaking after it was revealed the Department for Infrastructure have paid out over £25m in public liability claims over the past five years.

Mr Durkan said that the department’s budget has been hampered by a lack of monitoring rounds at Stormont.

Foyle MLA Mr Durkan said:

"There has been a massive deterioration in our roads over the past few years. Potholes have become all too common, with the same places requiring repair again and again, with budgetary pressures leading to temporary rather than permanent solutions. Everyone is aghast at the state of our roads, with many of us suffering damage to our vehicles and it’s no surprise that compensation claims have gone through the roof as a result.

“I sympathise with the financial position of the department, but we cannot encourage a system where it is easier to pay out to those affected than to fix the problems on our roads. This situation has been compounded by the lack of an Executive and Assembly for five of the past seven years, with DfI traditionally relying on Executive monitoring rounds to top up its budget through left-over capital funding from other departments.

“The state of our roads is not only a concern from a compensation point of view, large potholes and other obstructions make the risk of an accident much more likely, leaving motorists and other road users at greater risk. Until the Executive and Infrastructure Minister properly address these issues, we are going to see compensation claims taking a chunk out of an already tight DfI budget. The SDLP Opposition will continue pushing for proper road maintenance and care to keep motorists and their vehicles safe and free from damage.”

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