Belfast Telegraph

Belfast resident questions why 'perfect' road is being ripped up

By Jonathan Bell

Road chiefs in Northern Ireland have been slammed for the condition of a road - this time in carrying out work which one resident says is not needed.

Mary Johnston said her Waterloo Park road in north Belfast is "almost perfect" bar the odd blemish.

However, she was left stunned when she received notification work was to begin on ripping it up and resurfacing it for six weeks.

She said it was a "needless waste of money," and questioned why her "affluent" area was getting the work done when, it appeared, so many other areas were being neglected.

"It just isn't needed," she told the Belfast Telegraph, "But then I think - why look a gift horse in the mouth?

"You hear of so many roads in need of repair and I can't understand the justification for this.

"We've no government, we can't make important decisions on health or education, but we can resurface a road that doesn't need it?

"But if there is a good reason for the work, I can accept that."

The Department for Infrastructure said the work was costing £137,000 and it had a statutory duty to maintain the road network. It said as it was part of normal duty, there was no need for a minister to approve the work.

"The affluence of any area is not a factor taken into consideration in the decision making process for this type of work," said a spokeswoman.

The work is to include providing a new carriageway surface while removing return kerbs and providing a new pedestrian surface. The department said this was for the "benefit of vulnerable road users such as elderly and disabled pedestrians".

“Under Article 8 of the Roads Order, the department has a statutory duty to maintain the adopted road network," the spokeswoman added.

"Waterloo Park North and South is inspected on a three month cyclical basis and anything which is considered to be hazardous to the public is identified and programmed for repair.

"In addition to these cyclical maintenance procedures the department also undertakes an annual programme of reconstruction and resurfacing works, which is implemented on a scheme priority basis.

"Inspections of Waterloo Park identified scarring caused by old utility tracks, loss of chippings from the carriageway surfacing, a mixture of concrete and granite kerbs with dropped kerbs at some accesses and higher than normal kerb defects at return kerb sites."

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