Anger as road remains unfinished despite seven week closure

November 28, 2016

Local residents have expressed their concerns that the stretch of road between Annaghduff and Mullaghbawn remains unfinished – despite being closed for seven weeks as part of the B30 Newry Road resurfacing project.

Transport NI closed the road at the end of September – causing major disruption and inconvenience to local businesses and road users who, whilst accepting the need for resurfacing, were opposed to the scale of the closure.   The road at Anaghduff reopened recently still in its previous state of disrepair and angry motorists have told The Examiner it remains a danger to drivers due to the abundance of potholes along it. Many have questioned why the particular stretch of road was not resurfaced during the extensive period of closure.

According to Slieve Gullion Area Councillor Mickey Larkin, Roads Service Officers have advised him that the road remains unfinished because of the need to widen it before final resurfacing.

“After continued lobbying in relation to the B30 Road from myself and other local elected representatives including my Sinn Féin colleague Megan Fearon MLA to Transport NI, money was made available to resurface stretches of the road,” explained Mr Larkin.

“This in itself caused inconvenience to local residents, motorists and pedestrians, but it was accepted as necessary by most people.

On the issue of the Annaghduff section of road, the Sinn Fein Councillor added that he has been informed by Transport NI that acquiring the necessary land to complete the widening scheme is still ongoing but that “progress is being made.”

“When raising this issue on a regular basis I have made it clear that the continuing situation is causing frustration and that we elected representatives expect it to be completed as a matter of urgency,” he stated.

“Meanwhile we will monitor progress and will ensure that any safety problems of concern will be investigated and addressed if necessary by Roads Service.”

In response to the concerns raised, a spokesperson for the Department for Infrastructure highlighted the recent completion of the two sections of the B30 at a cost of £260,000 and confirmed that the third section of the B30, at Anaghduff is on a provisional list of future resurfacing works.

“This section would include the resurfacing of the carriageway  from the Newry side of Tullymacrieve road to near Annaghduff Chapel,” advised the DFI spokesperson.

“There is a particular narrow section of carriageway along this stretch and Transport NI are currently investigating the feasibility of some localised widening prior to carriageway resurfacing.  The design is at a preliminary stage and progress of the scheme will be dependent on a number of factors including the availability of land, the feasibility of carriageway widening  and on the availability of the necessary funding to complete the works.

“It is hoped that the feasibility investigations and preliminary design could be completed in early 2017.”