£2.35m to be spent on Larne roads this year, pledges DRD

THE Roads Service has announced it will be spending £2.35 million on improvement and maintenance schemes throughout the borough this year.

At the latest meeting of Larne Borough Council, divisional roads manager Deidre Mackle highlighted a number of projects that have been completed or are currently in the pipeline for 2011/12.

In a bid to improve safety, a road widening scheme has been carried out at the junction of Pound Street and High Street, at a cost of £10,000. New crossing facilities to assist pedestrians have also been included in the upgrade.

Work to improve visibility at the junction of Tower Road and the Coast Road is also set to get underway this month.

And in an attempt to reduce the amount of traffic in Larne, planning permission has been approved for a £140,000 park and ride facility adjacent to Millbrook roundabout on the A8.

Ms Mackle also told members that the introduction of traffic calming measures on Linn Road has been completed, with work on Upper Cairncastle Road to be carried out later this year.

She added that a total of £730,000 has been set aside for 10km of resurfacing, and a number of these schemes have already been completed including Ballymena Road, Coast Road, Mullaghboy Road, Braepark Road and Bentra Road.

About £300,000 has also been allocated for improved street lighting in Larne, Ballycarry, Carnlough, Cairncastle and Drains Bay.

Ms Mackle also outlined an ongoing £10,000 programme to improve safety outside schools, including a proposal to introduce new signage with flashing lights and additional road markings at Ballycarry and Linn Primarys.

But Larne Town Councillor Martin Wilson said he was concerned about the amount of money being spent on this scheme, claiming that it would be better used by providing extra parking spaces for parents picking up their children.

“Anyone who is from the town will know that there is a school in that area anyway,” he added.

In response, Ms Mackle said Roads Service had received good feedback from local people regarding the scheme.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy said his Department’s budget for roads in the coming years would be likely be “under considerable pressure”.

“While current indications are that funding for resurfacing and minor improvement works will be very limited next year, I remain committed to delivering these important schemes as resources permit,” Mr Kennedy said.