Question Time: Regional Development 18 November 2013
Date: 18 November 2013
The Minister for Regional Development, Danny Kennedy, began question time by responding to a question on Bridge Street in Strabane from Michaela Boyle. He outlined that he has had to direct his officials to increase the level of parking enforcement on Bridge Street to deter illegal parking and a yellow box junction will be provided on Bridge Street to assist vehicles turning right onto Melvin Road, where legal parking is available.
The Minister also explained that there are potential projects in mind for two bridges in Strabane, with the upgrading of one and the construction of a new bridge that will link the bus station to the town centre.
When challenged by William Irwin to ensure that rural businesses will receive adequate support from Roads Service this winter, the Minister outlined how his resources are deployed:
Routes which carry in excess of 1,500 vehicles per day and in areas with difficult topography, roads carrying over 1,000 vehicles per day are salted.
"In addition, small settlements in rural areas containing 100 dwellings or more have salted links to roads on the main salted network, and priority secondary salting is provided to a number of rural schools that are most affected by the adverse weather conditions. Salting is also undertaken in urgent situations; for example, to provide access for the emergency services, for unforeseen occurrences, such as funerals, or to help get fuel or feed stocks to farmers."
In a response to a question from Sammy Douglas, Danny Kennedy was able to inform MLAs that the Giro d'Italia organisers were very content with the condition of the roads to be used for the three stages taking place in Northern Ireland.
Karen McKevitt asked the Minister for an update on any flood alleviation schemes his Department is undertaking in the South Down constituency.
"Work to improve our drainage systems in south Down is currently being progressed at various locations, including St Judes Gardens in Rostrevor and Newry Road sewage pumping station in Warrenpoint. A scheme has recently been completed at Water Street/Horners Lane, Newry, and essential improvements to the sewer infrastructure in Downpatrick are planned that will also help to reduce the risk of flooding in the area. Appraisal studies on potential improvements in other areas are ongoing."
During topical questions, which now comes after oral questions, Danny Kenndy was asked when he is likely to announce the results of his options study for Craigantlet crossroads; what contractual arrangements DRD has in place with the consultants that are carrying out the review of the EU habitats directive in relation to the A5 and several questions on parking.
You can read his answers to the above and the full transcipt of question time on our website.