Industry welcomes commitment on infrastructure

QPANI regional director Gordon Best
QPANI regional director Gordon Best

A commitment to funding for repairs to the province’s deteriorating roads and a commitment to take forward the strategic investment corridors of the A5 and A6 contained in the Executive’s budget for 2016/17 has been welcomed by the industry.

The Quarry Products Association NI, the body representing road surfacing contractorsand other construction material suppliers in NI, said the commitment was timely and of vital importance.

“We fully appreciate the financial pressures the Executive is under but the safe condition of the £32 billion roads network must be a priority; not just next year but every year,” said regional director Gordon Best.

“This current year has witnessed maintenance funding levels dropping to an all-time low resulting in the loss of hundreds of skilled jobs and underutilised specialist plant and machinery.

“We must invest the appropriate levels of funding,because if we don’t it will have serious consequences for our economy, cost us more money in the long term and importantly endanger the safety of everyone using our roads.

“We would commend Ministers and the Regional Development Committee for listening to us and other expert opinionand increasing thestarting levels 2016 /17 maintenance funding.

“We now look forward to continuing our discussions with Ministers and MLAs to ensure that the commitment to invest what is required in our roads, water and sewage, energy and public transport infrastructure delivers what our economy and future generations require.”