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  • Writer's pictureMichelle Weir (Local Democracy Reporter)

State of MEA roads highlighted after horses fell and rider injured on rural road near Glenarm

The surface of a rural road outside Glenarm was highlighted to DfI officials on Tuesday evening following an accident in which two elderly horses fell and a rider was injured.

The incident was reported to Roads Service officials by Coast Road Ulster Unionist Councillor Maureen Morrow folliowing a presentation to Mid and East Antrim’s Direct Services Committee on Tuesday evening.

Cllr Morrow told the officials that the 25 and 30-year-old horses had fallen on two occasions on a section between Loughview Road and Aughaboy Road during the summer.

She added that there is “quite a lot of activity” with horses in that area including stables and a riding school at Aughaboy Road, describing the issue as “quite serious”.

Braid DUP Councillor Beth Adger reported more than 100 potholes on a section Carnalbanagh Road.

Meanwhile, ‘bitmac’ resurfacing is listed for 11 areas of Carrickfergus including Taylor’s Avenue, Rhanbuoy Park and Nelson Street and Queen Street in the town centre. In Larne. this work is scheduled for Sallagh Park South, Albert Street and Garron Crescent.

Roads Recovery Fund schemes for resurfacing have been completed in urban and rural areas across the borough including Carnalbanagh Road and will be progressed across the borough this year to include other rural areas such as Raloo Road, Casements Brae and Old Belfast Road outside Larne.

Ashphalt footpath resurfacing is scheduled to continue in the borough at a cost of £328k to include sections in Craigyhill and Antiville estates, Tower Road and Coastguard Road in Larne and Taylor’s Avenue, in Carrickfergus, to name a few.

DfI has set aside £200k to deal with landslides and rockfalls at the A2 Coast Road.

Mid and East Antrim councillors were given an update by DfI officials on works being undertaken in 2021/22.

Divisional Roads Manager Colin Hutchinson, said:

“This year we have continued to deliver our programmes whilst dealing with the impacts of Covid-19 on our organisation and contractors.

“Major resurfacing schemes have recently been completed on the A2 Garron Road, Carnlough, A36 Shanes Hill Road, Larne, B94 Rathkeel Road and Knockan Road, Broughshane, and A26 Crankill Road, Ballymena.

“Further major resurfacing schemes programmed for completion this financial year include A42 Galgorm Road, Ballymena, M2 Ballymena bypass and B93 Glebe Road, Ahoghill. These schemes are due to be commenced very shortly.”

Mr Hutchinson also highlighted Infrastructure Minister Nichhola Mallon’s commitment to investing in improved safety measures outside schools and informed councillors of a further eight locations across the council area where 20mph speed limits will be provided outside schools in this financial year.

In Mid and East Antrim, these will include St Nicholas’ and Eden Primary in Carrickfergus, Glynn Primary in Larne and Kirkinroila Primary, St Brigid’s Primary, Buick Memorial, Fourtowns Primary and St Patrick’s College in Ballymena.

He added: “The overall 2021/22 structural maintenance capital budget is £85m for Northern Ireland. Of this £17m has been set aside for a roads recovery fund, which is being used to address areas of immediate need across the road network and £1.2 million has been allocated to the Mid & East Antrim area.

“This is the highest level of funding directed to a specific rural roads initiative by any minister to date. The Department will continue to identify those roads in most need of repair and prioritise this work alongside other ongoing priorities.

“I also am pleased to report that despite significant resource budget pressures, the resource allocations received in 2021/22 will allow DfI Roads to maintain the road network to a similar standard as last year, including funding for a full street light repair service and winter gritting service.”


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