Question Time - Regional Development 08 September 2014

The Regional Development Minister, Danny Kennedy, answered questions on a range of matters including cutbacks to services, and updates on a number of road developments in cluding the A6 Londonderry to Dungiven dualling scheme, West Link roads in Armagh and Road Maintenance in Lisburn.

Mr Eastwood asked for an update on the A6 dualling scheme public inquiry, the minister replied " There are proposals to dual two sections of the A6, those being Randalstown to Castledawson and Londonderry to Dungiven.  Funding has been provided to advance the A6 Randalstown to Castledawson dual carriageway project to be shovel-ready in 2015 and, when funding becomes available in the future, to allow construction to commence at short notice.

Development of the A6 Londonderry to Dungiven dualling scheme, which includes a bypass of Dungiven, is well advanced.  It has been through a public inquiry and the inspector has produced a report embracing various recommendations.  I am considering a response to those recommendations and will issue the departmental statement in due course when I am satisfied that all issues, a number of which are complex, have been appropriately reviewed.

Mr Craig asked the minister what impact the recent budget settlement will have on road maintenance budgets in the Lisburn area. The minister stated " As you will be aware, following the recent announcement on June monitoring, my Department’s resource budget, which is used for the day-to-day maintenance of the road network, has been cut.  This cut applies equally across the whole of Northern Ireland, including the Lisburn area.

My Department’s operations and maintenance staff will endeavour to keep the road network in as safe a condition as possible.  However, as they have resources to complete only around three quarters of the total workload, they will not be able to provide the service that the public would expect in normal circumstances.

Other questions that were asked during oral question time and during Topical Questions to the Minister for Regional Development included updates on the Public Transport Ticketing system, Roads/Street Lighting Budget cuts, the A5 Western Transport Corridor, Legal Claims and Street Parking.

You can read the full list of questions on our website. The full transcript of Question Time is available to read in the Official Report.

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