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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

“It is all money dependent” – Council discusses replacing Coast Road railings in MEA

Railings at the Antrim Coast Road will cost £300 per metre to replace, Mid and East Antrim councillors have been told.

Speaking at a meeting of the borough council’s Direct Services Committee in Carrickfergus Town Hall, on Tuesday evening, Michael Alexander, section engineer, Department for Infrastructure (DfI) Roads Northern Division, said: “There are a lot of steps between Larne and Carnlough.”

Mr Alexander was responding to a query from Coast Road Alliance Alderman Gerardine Mulvenna who was highlighting the “particularly bad” condition of seafront railings at Drains Bay and Ballygally.

Ald Mulvenna said she has received complaints from constituents about “how awful they look”.

She also pointed out their condition is a health and safety risk and asked if any work could be started.

Ald Mulvenna noted the Coast Road is part of the route of the “prestigious” Antrim Coast Half Marathon.

Commenting on the railings, Mr Alexander said: “I know the Black Arch is particularly bad. I have been looking at different options for it.  The Coast Road is more or less ours. Maybe we could work with council to take this forward a bit more.

“It costs roughly £300 per metre. There are a lot of steps between Larne and Carnlough. I tried to get something done this summer between Larne and the Black Arch but we did not have the funds.”

Speaking after the presentation of the DfI Roads Northern Division annual report, Mr Alexander added: “My priority is more for resurfacing rather than tidying up Coast Road railings to make them look nice rather than being a safety feature. We are trying to work on safety with the budget we have. It is all money dependent.”

Coast Road Ulster Unionist Councillor Maureen Morrow raised the issue with the DfI in 2019.

Ownership and responsibility for the upkeep of the railings lies mostly with the Roads Service – part of the Department for Infrastructure.

She indicated previously that DfI had been assessing the situation to provide costings and the cost of refurbishment was found to be “extreme” and the railing style no longer available.

She noted there is a possibility there may be a preservation order on the railings which are 140-years-old.


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