£15 million warchest has already helped to purge 40,000 potholes

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A £15 million warchest has been set aside for a purge on potholes, a roads chief has revealed.

The cash has been ringfenced to fix road surfaces which took a pummelling during the freezing winter this year.

And it has emerged that 40,000 ‘surface defects’ have already been repaired across Northern Ireland in recent months.

The information came as Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council was given an update on projects for the current financial year.

Divisional Roads Manager David Porter said: “I am pleased to tell you that we have started the current financial year with a significantly increased capital allocation and you will have heard that the Department has been allocated £75 million.

“This budget will allow us to plan to deliver a significantly increased number of both Trunk Road and Non-Trunk Road resurfacing schemes, a sustained programme of street lighting upgrades along with a slightly improved LTSM (Local Transportation and Safety Measures) allocation.

“It is clear that the recent severe winter has had a significant detrimental impact on the road network and the Department will continue to identify those roads most in need of repair and deliver this work alongside other ongoing priorities.

“In particular, I want to advise you that £15 million of the overall allocation has been ringfenced as the Roads Recovery Fund which will help local Section Engineers to target roads which are in need of urgent attention.

“It is worth knowing that almost 40,000 surface defects have been repaired in the last few months.

Meanwhile, Mr Porter said: “Over the last year, a number of significant resurfacing schemes have been completed in the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area, including the A2 Seacoast Road, Umbra, Portstewart Road, Portrush at Dhu Varren, A2 Cushendall Road, Ballycastle, A26 Newbridge Road at Damhead, Coleraine, A37 Broad Road, Limavady, A29 Carhill Road, Garvagh and two stretches of the B16 Garryduff Road, Ballymoney.

“I am particularly pleased with the new roundabout in Limavady at A37/C570 Broad Road/Greystone Road which was completed at a cost of £400,000.  This will help address the significant collision history while reducing peak time queuing and delays at Greystone Road.

“These projects will provide widespread benefits to both the local community and commuters in the Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council area.”

He also touched on the issue of grass cutting.

Said Mr Porter:  “The ongoing maintenance programme will also allow all roadside verges and sightline grass to be cut at least twice in the period April to October; along with a full weed spraying operation.

“I wish to thank the Council for continuing to work in partnership with us on the cutting of grass across the Borough.  This work has now commenced across the region however if our attention is drawn to specific locations where the grass is causing a particular issue we will endeavour to give these urgent attention.”

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