The Quarry Products Association NI (QPANI), the body representing road surfacing contractors and other construction material suppliers in NI, has welcomed the announcement that next year will see an increased amount of funding to repair the province's deteriorating roads and a commitment to take forward the strategic investment corridors of the A5 and A6.
Gordon Best, Regional Director of QPANI, said, “We fully appreciate the financial pressures the NI Executive are under but the safe condition of the £32billion roads network must be a priority – not just next year but every year. This current year has witnessed maintenance funding levels dropping to an all-time low, resulting in the loss of hundreds of skilled jobs and underutilised specialist plant and machinery.
“We must invest the appropriate levels of funding because, if we don’t, it will have serious consequences for our economy, cost us more money in the long term and importantly endanger the safety of everyone using our roads. We would commend Ministers and the Regional Development Committee for listening to us and other expert opinion and increasing the starting levels 2016/17 maintenance funding.
“We now look forward to continuing our discussions with Ministers and MLAs to ensure that the commitment to invest what is required in our roads, water and sewage, energy and public transport infrastructure delivers what our economy and future generations require.”