The Chair welcomed Mr Loughrey, Divisional Roads Manager (DRM) and Mr MacBride, Network Development to the meeting and invited them to present the Department’s 2018/19 Annual Report on the work of DfI Roads across the Derry City and Strabane District Council area.
The DRM proceeded to outline to Members the works completed across the Council area during the year 2017/18 and initial proposals for schemes to be undertaken in the year 2018/19. He also encouraged Members to complete the Request/Enquiry forms on certain issues that may not be addressed within his report and he would arrange to forward to the relevant section for response.
The DRM reported that funding had allowed a number of important major schemes along the A6 to move to the construction stage and the A2 Buncrana Road scheme continued to progress through the development stage. He however expressed disappointment that despite a positive outcome to the Public Inquiry process into the A5 dualling project, progression of the scheme to the construction stage was again back in the courts with a hearing scheduled for September.
The DRM expressed his delight that in the current year he was pleased to welcome increased levels of funding to address areas of immediate need across the road network.
The Chair together with Members from all Parties thanked the representatives for the report and commended the work completed by DfI Roads during the year 2017/18. Particular reference was made to the immediate response to the damage caused by the flooding event on 22August 2017. Appreciation was also expressed to the Department for the on-line fault reporting through NI Direct and the swift response in respect of complaints received.
Members made reference to the following:
- Expressed concern regarding the new Preferred Route for the A2 Scheme and the impact on residents from Buncrana Road in terms of access.
- Enquired when existing parking issues throughout the Bogside area would be addressed.
- Requested update on marking out of Disabled Parking Bays
- Request for speed ramps to be resurfaced at Ballynagard area of Culmore.
- Reported Health and Safety issue at Ardan Road adjacent to the Primary School particularly during busy periods – suggestion of a one-way system to be implemented.
- Expression of appreciation for the work completed on Racecourse Road, Ballyarnett.
- Expressed concern that Maydown Road was not included on the proposed schedule for surface dressing.
- Referred to the need to progress work at Claudy Bridge.
- Expressed disappointment that Cornshell Fields was not included on the proposed schedule for surface dressing.
- Welcomed the turning area at Cornshell Fields.
- Concern raised regarding the poor quality of resurfacing works carried out at Tievenney Road and queried how quality assurance was addressed.
- Sought clarification in relation to the allocation of funding as a result of the severe flooding incident on 22nd August 2017 and how much of the work was completed.
- Welcomed drainage work completed to date.
- Welcomed provision of a footway on Lurganbuoy Road/Castlefin Road.
- Queried if the grass cutting was going to be extended to 2 cuts per year.
- Expressed disappointment that the Drumlegagh works had not progressed and queried the delay.
- Requested removal of vegetation on Castlederg Bridge.
- Welcomed street lighting at Garvetagh, however hedge overgrowth blocked the lanterns.
- Requested Private Streets Enforcement at Dergvale and Glenview, Castlederg.
- Welcomed the work carried out due to flood damage at the Glenelly Valley and Woodend Road.
- Queried if savings were achieved from the LED street lighting scheme.
- Acknowledged the work carried out on the bridge projects and suggested that the public are informed about the reason for the work ceasing during closed fishing season.
- Welcomed the inclusion of footpaths at Plumbridge on schedule of works.
- Queried street light provision at Caw Roundabout.
The representatives from DfI Roads, Western Division responded as follows:
- Referred to the Preferred Route for the A2 Scheme updated from the 2009 scheme and explained that the scheme continued to progress through the development stage and there was a balance to be struck in terms of access and road safety consultation ongoing.
- Advised that the parking issue throughout areas at Bogside required public consultation in terms of charging for parking.
- Clarified that the same contractor was responsible for surface dressing and white lining and was currently stretched to capacity.
- Acknowledged that Maydown was not included on the surface dressing schedule and would forward request to relevant Officer.
- In relation to works at Claudy Bridge confirmed that November – April was the stay away season and the works would resume in September.
- Agreed to forward the request for Cornshell Fields to be included on the surface dressing scheme of works for consideration.
- Confirmed that the grass cutting scheduled included 2 cuts per year.
- In response to query regarding surface level defects, confirmed that all defects would be patched prior to completion of surface dressing.
- Agreed to forward complaint regarding poor quality of resurfacing work carried out at Tievenney Road.
- In relation to Drumlegagh Road works, clarified that the delay in progress was due to a site line issue.
- Agreed to report Enforcement Cases to Section Engineer for response.
- Confirmed that the Department was aware of the poor lighting at Caw Roundabout and improvements would be implemented in due course.
The Director of Environment and Regeneration took the opportunity to express her appreciation to the representatives who worked in close consultation with her Officer Team in terms of planning issues. She also refereed to representation at a strategic level and the contribution made in the progression of major projects for the District Council area.
Alderman Hussey requested that due to the importance of the Annual Report on the work of DfI Roads that a Special Environment and Regeneration Committee Meeting be scheduled in going forward.
The Director of Environment and Regeneration expressed the view that she would be content with the suggestion of a Special Environment and Regeneration Committee Meeting to present the Roads report twice yearly and for all Members to be invited to attend.
Recommended that the Annual Report on the work of DfI Roads, Western Division across the Derry City and Strabane District Council area be presented twice yearly at a Special Environment and Regeneration Committee Meeting and that all Members be invited to attend.