Minister O’Dowd announces £8.1m to repair 'poor condition of our road network' following urgent calls to improve 'pockmarked' roads

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Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd is set to make an additional £8.1million capital investment in the structural road maintenance programme this year, it was announced on Sunday 25 February.

Infrastructure Minister John O'Dowd said the funding would help "to deliver additional resurfacing schemes and continue to address the poor condition of our road network".

Just last week, the Sinn Féin minister announced £1million of additional funding to address the problem of potholes.

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In a written statement to the Assembly Minister O’Dowd said: “Members will no doubt agree that it is vital that all available capital budget within my Department is fully utilised to deliver much needed investment in our infrastructure, including on the maintenance of our roads.

Just one of the potholes which can be seen throughout our city. O'Dowd's announcement follows weeks of urgent calls for action to be taken over ‘pothole city’, with SDLP Infrastructure spokesperson Mark H Durkan telling The Journal recently that the failure to adequately address the growing number of potholes across the road network “is putting road users at risk of injury or worse”.Just one of the potholes which can be seen throughout our city. O'Dowd's announcement follows weeks of urgent calls for action to be taken over ‘pothole city’, with SDLP Infrastructure spokesperson Mark H Durkan telling The Journal recently that the failure to adequately address the growing number of potholes across the road network “is putting road users at risk of injury or worse”.
Just one of the potholes which can be seen throughout our city. O'Dowd's announcement follows weeks of urgent calls for action to be taken over ‘pothole city’, with SDLP Infrastructure spokesperson Mark H Durkan telling The Journal recently that the failure to adequately address the growing number of potholes across the road network “is putting road users at risk of injury or worse”.

“Due to a decade of Tory cuts and austerity, and the budgetary constraints faced by my Department, the initial capital allocation regrettably fell well short of the amount necessary to maintain the road network to the required standard.

“I recently addressed the Assembly to announce the allocation of an extra £1million to target areas of highest priority with small scale resurfacing schemes, designed to repair areas that have suffered the most and where localised repairs are less effective.

“I am now in a position to announce an additional £8.1million of funding for my Department’s Structural Maintenance Programme to deliver additional resurfacing schemes and continue to address the poor condition of our road network.”

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The statement concluded: “This investment has been made possible through a combination of additional funding from the Executive supplemented by a reallocation within my Department.

A pothole on a local road. The wettest October in over 153 years and a deficit in funds have impacted the state of the roads here, the Department for Infrastructure said.A pothole on a local road. The wettest October in over 153 years and a deficit in funds have impacted the state of the roads here, the Department for Infrastructure said.
A pothole on a local road. The wettest October in over 153 years and a deficit in funds have impacted the state of the roads here, the Department for Infrastructure said.

Work will start immediately on the planning and delivery of these new schemes.

"This represents a significant additional investment in our road network, and as the Minister for Infrastructure, I am committed to improving this vital asset for the benefit of our citizens, our communities and our economy."

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Pothole City: Almost 2,000 road defect reports in 10 weeks in Derry & Strabane

The announcement follows weeks of urgent calls for action to be taken over ‘pothole city’, with SDLP Infrastructure spokesperson Mark H Durkan telling The Journal recently that the failure to adequately address the growing number of potholes across the road network “is putting road users at risk of injury or worse”.

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Minister John O’Dowd has recently announced an additional £8.1 million to address the state of poor roads in Northern Ireland. This funding aims to support resurfacing schemes and improve the overall condition of the road network.Minister John O’Dowd has recently announced an additional £8.1 million to address the state of poor roads in Northern Ireland. This funding aims to support resurfacing schemes and improve the overall condition of the road network.
Minister John O’Dowd has recently announced an additional £8.1 million to address the state of poor roads in Northern Ireland. This funding aims to support resurfacing schemes and improve the overall condition of the road network.

Responding to data released recently by CompareNI.com which detailed a 9% increase in potholes across the north, the Foyle MLA said he has been “inundated with complaints and concerns” about various areas including Northland Road, Victoria Road and Buncrana Road.

"We’re talking about main arterial routes into the city,” he said, adding, “pothole clusters on roads that resemble the surface of the moon have become all too familiar.”

Last month, The Journal obtained new figures which laid bare the state of our roads, with 579 public complaints/reports over potholes lodged in the 10 weeks to January 10 and more than 1,400 defects and potholes recorded during inspections.

Of the 579 pothole enquiries and complaints from the public since November 1, 127 were labelled as being new, 59 were ‘in progress’ and 390 had been ‘completed’ - meaning that, either, they had been repaired or that they have not been deemed sufficiently serious to act on. ​

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In terms of the 1,408 potholes and other road defects recorded by staff during routine and ad hoc inspections since November 1, 841 were deemed ‘completed’, Works Orders were issued for 563 defects and four works orders are being prepared. ​