£4 million programme for the year is outlined to council by Roads Service

THE Roads Service has unveiled a £4million programme of works for the coming year around the Newtownabbey area.

Officials from the department outlined a number of programmed works which will be carried out and completed within the next 12 months.

Divisional roads manager Bertie Ellison said work would include improvements to street lighting and traffic calming schemes around the borough, but said the bulk of their budget would be carried out on resurfacing and repairs work.

In particular he highlighted a £40,000 traffic calming scheme in Ballyeaston which will include speed bumps and new signage to warn motorists of the road through the village.

Mr Ellison also thanked Newtownabbey councillors, farmers and residents for their support during the heavy snow fall in March, he told councillors: “The winter had actually been very mild right up until March when the snow hit.

“There was a considerable effort made by my staff to try and get the snow cleared and reduce disruption, but inevitably there is going to be problems.

“Our priority has to be ensuring main routes are cleared and once that us done we move on to other routes where people are experiencing difficulties.

“In some instances we had to clear roads to rural areas where people had been left isolated. We also helped clear roads to get medical assistance to people, or for funerals to take place.

“So there were times when we had to alter our priorities based on the needs of residents.”

Councillors roundly congratulated the Roads Service on its work during the difficult weather, however, they said more needed to be done in particular to clear the Hightown and Carnmoney areas.

Councillor Mark Cosgrove added: “I know the policy is for roads of a certain gradient to be gritted, but I would ask that the roads in certain estates which are at a high level be included.”

In the past 12 months the Roads Service has carried out around £6million of works across the borough.

Mr Ellison outlined some of the significant areas of work completed by the division, including further carriageway resurfacing in areas of Ballyfore Road and Avenue Road, Glencroft Road and Gardens as well as Prince Charles Way.

In addition both carriageway and footway resurfacing had been completed at Beverley Road, something Councillor Lynn Frazer described as “marvellous”.

Road improvement schemes completed last year included work on the Ballyclare Road and new traffic signs including work at Kilbride Road, Jordanstown Road and Mossley Road have been completed.

Bertie said “minor snags” had caused delays to work on the Jordanstown Road and the Doagh Road/Old Carrick Road junction, but all other works had been delivered.

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy commended the Roads Service and its contractors for the successful completion of the schemes.