Derry’s roads so bad they are like a ‘patchwork quilt’ warn local reps : We have a ‘monster backlog’ says DfI

Derry representatives have warned that Derry’s road infrastructure is in a terrible state and questioned the scale of the funding needed to fix the problems.

Tuesday, 6th July 2021, 11:00 am

Waterside representative DUP Alderman David Ramsey was speaking during a presentation by Department of Infrastructure’s Roads Service on progress in Derry & Strabane.

Ald. Ramsey said some of the roads in his own constituency were badly in need of repair and that the problem was not confined to this area of the city and district.

“Some of the roads in the Waterside are like a patchwork quilt with pothole. They are repaired and then they break up again and we’re back to square one,” he warned.

Road defects in the Carnhill area of Derry.
Road defects in the Carnhill area of Derry.

“It is that bad and some really bad areas aren’t even in the programme for the next two years. Some of the roads are just absolutely terrible.”

It was understood, he said, that Roads Service could only do what they had the funding to do and queried how “far back we are” and how much funding was needed to address the many issues in terms of road defects.

David McKinley, local Divisional Roads Manager, responded: “This is a very broad question. What we have as everybody knows is this monster of a backlog. What we do need is £143m everybody year for five to ten years and we also need assured in terms of a budget profile.

“Currently we are still working to one year budgets and we are working now but we don’t have a ghost of a notion of what we will have next year. So we need three to five year forward budgets so we can actually go to the industry and say this is what we have.”

A recent procurement delay brought about by a legal challenge was raised by several Councillors.

SDLP Councillor Steven Edwards also raised concerns over the impact of recent delays in procurement for roads maintenance.

Sinn Féin Colr. Christopher Jackson said that despite the long lists of roads scheduled for the year ahead, “there’s massive omissions, there’s an even longer list of roads that aren’t included”.

“That is concerning. There are some areas where our roads is an absolute disgrace,” he said.

“I suppose in terms of the one off potholes, they are being addressed, but when you look at the issues that continually re-emerging, then the entire resurfacing project and speaking to local officers they agree it is much more cost effective and efficient to resurface the entire road than to come out every few months and refill a pothole.”

Mr McKinley responded that there were budget constraints. He added: “We do accept there are a lot of the roads out there and they are patchwork. What they need is just to be jolly well overlaid and bring life back into the carraigeway. It is not helped at all by our lack of an asphalt contractor between now and January.”

In the 2021-2022 financial year it is proposed to resurface the following roads at an estimated cost of £4.3 million:

Road No Road Name Length (m)

A1002 Clooney Road between Caw and Gransha Roundabouts 380

B49* Church Street, Claudy 345

B69 Barnailt Road (2 locations) 3400

B72 Fyfin Road / Strabane Road, Spamount 640

B74* Glenshane Road, Killaloo to Claudy 1600

C503 Ardlough Road (2 locations) 3215

C577 Circular Road, Creggan 620

C580 Prehen Park - Upper portion 225

C675 Kilclean Road, Castlederg 480

C675 Killeter Road / Mournebeg Road, Castlederg 1050

C677 Orchard Road, Strabane 278

U1115 Lenamore Road 120

U1515 Talbot Park 569

U1518 Maybrook Park 210

U1519 Larkhill 175

U1519 Drumleck Drive 190

U1540 Bramhall Crescent 110

U1540 Kensington Road 277

U1540 Lyndhurst Road 500

U1560 St. Canice’s Park, Eglinton 198

U1583 Bluebell Hill Gardens 135

U1802 Park Road, Strabane 450 31

Road No Road Name Length (m)

U4004 Hillmount Grove, Strabane 120

U4017 Ardnalee Park, Strabane 265

U4017 Lisnafin Park, Strabane 760

U4552 Orr Park, Newtownstewart 65

Dublin Road Industrial Estate, Strabane 790

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