Belfast Telegraph

Road maintenance bill 'to hit £10m'

The bill for maintaining the roads this winter is expected to exceed £10 million.

The Department for Regional Development (DRD) said the average cost of a normal winter service is around £5 million.

Last year's freeze pushed the total up to more than double that amount.

A spokeswoman for the department said: "While it is too soon yet to estimate the full cost of this year's winter service, early indications would suggest that the final cost is likely to be significantly more than last year."

The winter service cost rose to more than £8 million last year because of the extreme weather conditions over the Christmas and new year periods. It was also estimated that a further £2 million was spent on roads requiring immediate treatment because of the weather.

The Stormont Executive's draft budget would see the DRD losing £63 million.

Thousands of people are trying to get back to Northern Ireland for Christmas, as cold temperatures continue to cause problems to the transport network.

Both of Belfast's airports are open, but cancellations and delays are expected. Dublin Airport was closed for a time due to snow, but has now reopened. Services have resumed from Heathrow and Gatwick.

Hundreds of schools remain closed on Wednesday.

More bus services are now able to operate on main roads across Northern Ireland.

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From Belfast Telegraph