Press Release

Abandoned Roads Need To Be Addressed Says Committee

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Tuesday, 04 December 2012

Reference: RD 02/12/13

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Regional Development launched its report, ‘Inquiry into Unadopted Roads in Northern Ireland’ today, and called on the Minister of Regional Development and the Executive to urgently address the current backlog of unadopted roads and sewers.

Deputy Chairperson of the Committee, Sean Lynch MLA said: “The Committee is extremely concerned firstly, about the current backlog of unadopted roads and secondly, about the increasing number of roads being added to that backlog.  We heard that number of unadopted roads in Northern Ireland is between 1,200 and 3,500 and could cost up to £300m to repair; the fact that DRD are unable to even quantify the precise number and cost is disturbing and unacceptable.

“The Committee’s recommendations in the report aim to offer the consumer the means to remedy this situation. Key recommendations include: that the Minister urgently review the current legislation to ensure that it is robust enough to cope with the increasing number of unadopted roads; that local councils become more involved in the process by implementing a ‘prioritisation audit’ in order to help determine those areas that need the most attention; and that a ‘Cooporation Forum’ is established to collectively agree how unadopted roads can be managed.” 

Mr Lynch concluded: “The Committee accepts that there would be a significant cost to the Department and the Executive to completely resolve this issue.  However, we believe that there are steps that the Department can make to significantly alleviate the problems, without spending a lot of money.  The Committee’s report details these steps and I strongly urge Members to support the recommendations and call upon the Minister and Executive to take action.” 

Notes to Editors:

The Committee’s full report is available to view at

Committee Membership:
Jimmy Spratt MLA (Chairperson)
Sean Lynch MLA (Deputy Chairperson)
John Dallat MLA
Stewart Dickson MLA
Alex Easton MLA
Ross Hussey MLA
Dolores Kelly MLA
Declan McAleer MLA
Ian McCrea MLA
David McNarry MLA 
Cathal Ó hOisín MLA 

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