Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Crucial that contractors stay to finish the job: Hearty

A team of contractors currently working to repair damage to roads in south Armagh must remain in the area until all such work is completed, Sinn Fein councillor Terry Hearty has said.

Welcoming the commencement of the work, Mr Hearty said “it is crucial that all necessary road repairs and maintenance are carried out while the contractors are in-situ.

“A number of weeks ago I called for a team of contractors to be brought into the area to deal with the dangerous and constantly worsening, state of the roads in south Armagh.  I’m happy to see that a team has indeed now been brought in and have carried out work on the Concession Road and are also to begin work on the Newry Road,” he said.

“While this is, of course, to be welcomed, it’s crucial that this team remain in the area now until the job is done.  A piecemeal, half-baked approach to road maintenance and repair is how they got in the horrendous state they’re currently in.  This team needs to be dedicated to this area, fixing not only the main arterial routes but also the many country roads which homes and businesses are on, many of which are rapidly becoming impassable.”

On the subject of broken street lights across the district, the councillor continued: “I would also reiterate my call to Transport NI to bring in a similar team dedicated to repairing the ever increasing number of broken street lights across the area.

“Adequate street lighting is an issue that goes to the very heart of what a public service is supposed to provide – safety to our young people and security for our older citizens.

“A number of these broken lights are on roads leading to schools and youth clubs, where children regularly walk in the morning and evening; others are outside the homes of elderly residents who rely on the street lighting to give them an extra sense of safety and security in their own homes.”

South Armagh MLA Megan Fearon echoed her party colleague’s call and said it is the duty of government to provide these services.

“These are not issues that can be dismissed with the stroke of a pen or ignored due to mismanaged budgets; safety and security are not privileges provided to citizens when it’s convenient, they are fundamental rights.” she said.