Belfast Telegraph

Kennedy announces £30million funding boost for buses and roads

Stormont Executive press release - Department for Regional Development

Transport Minister Danny Kennedy has secured over £31million in funding towards roads maintenance and to enable the purchase of around 80 new buses.

Speaking after the June Monitoring Round announcement today, the Minister said the money will be spent on roads maintenance as well as on new Ulsterbus and Metro buses including single decks, midibuses, double decks and a small number of coaches.

In addition, some £40million has been agreed to enable work to start on the Magherafelt bypass.

The Minister said: “As a result of the June monitoring round, my Department has been successful in receiving £6.7million for a range of new buses. Together with anticipated EU funding this will allow a welcome investment of £12million in our public transport infrastructure. It will allow for the replacement of older vehicles, improved emissions and greater comfort and accessibility for passengers.

"Local dealerships may be involved in the supply chain here which is important for the Northern Ireland economy in these difficult times.”

An additional £6.8million secured to fund concessionary fares schemes means that bus and rail services can be maintained at current levels for those eligible to use Translink or other bus services.

A further £25million was secured for roads structural maintenance, together with around £40million for the Magherafelt bypass.

Danny Kennedy said: “I very much welcome this additional funding from the June Monitoring Round which will be targeted at maintaining infrastructure and will be a welcome boost to the construction industry, creating hundreds of jobs.

“The additional roads funding will be spent on the resurfacing of local roads and footways to maintain and improve standards including resurfacing, reconstruction, patching and structural drainage.”

It is estimated that this additional funding will help to sustain in the region of 200 jobs.

Concluding the Minister said: “A well maintained roads networks is essential to the economy and to the public whether they are travelling by car, bus or bike. Today’s announcement will enable us to deliver a significant amount of road improvements which will ultimately benefit the public and the economy.”

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