‘Put road management in hands of locals’

Mark Cosgrove has called for road management to be devolved to local councils. INNT 13-035-FP
Mark Cosgrove has called for road management to be devolved to local councils. INNT 13-035-FP

ULSTER Unionist representative Mark Cosgrove has called for the management of roads to be put in the hands of local councillors.

He said the local management could help improve reactions and solutions to the types of problems experienced over the past couple of days by the heavy snowfall.

He told the Times: “That was originally what was planned for in the Review of Public Administration, but a decision was taken not to devolve roads to council level.

“The Roads Service and its staff have done a great job working round the clock to keep the main arterial routes open, however, this still leaves a significant number of people totally cut off, living off minor local roads and in local developments.”

He went on: “Many constituents already think that their local council does have the responsibility for local roads related issues and clearly by devolving the powers we can create local solutions to local issues.

“The losses to the local economy through people not being able to go to work, the risk to life and property together with the general condition and up keep of local roads can no longer be ignored.

“Obviously any solution will involve the transfer of resources commensurate with the responsibility and it will then become the job of locally accountable politicians to decide if current service provision needs to be supplemented in line with local needs and associated costs.

“Local Government has the capability to deliver on this vital issue and I am now calling on the Stormont Executive as a whole to look seriously at giving us the accountability. In my opinion doing nothing is not an option.”