Councilor Cadogan Enright has challenged the Roads Service to explain their inaction is supporting the long-term development of Downpatrick, and why it is failing to deliver even on key infrastructural projects that are funded by the Council, PSNI or the South Eastern Trust.
Cllr Enright said, “For the last 6 years Government Agencies operating in East Down area have been preparing for the launch of a ‘Public Sector Campus’ on the Old Downshire Site. Roads Service has been involved here from 2006. There was agreement that if the Downeshire site was to be successful then four key junctions would have to be upgraded to improve access and ensure the new Public Sector Park is successful.”
“I met with the Road Service representatives for Downpatrick last week, on behalf of the Downpatrick / Lecale electoral area. At the meeting I was astonished to discover that the Roads Service is even being vague on previously committed projects. For instance the Ardglass Road / Edward Street Junction,” Said Cllr Enright.
“Downpatrick councilors have been expecting an announcement about the upgrading of the Ardglass / Edward Street junction for several months. We were previously told that this upgrade was being funded by a £200,000 contribution from the PSNI and would go ahead in August. Now the date for this upgrade is not known.”
“The Roads Service Representatives were unaware of their own ongoing discussions over the Ardglass Road / Killough Road Junction and had not been in contact with the South Eastern Trust over acquiring land to expand the capacity of the Northern lane leading up to the new hospital as previously agreed. In a similar manner.”
“Previously promised drawings for the Collins’ corner junction were not available. The Down Council itself had been engaged in discussing the funding of this upgrade as part of its contribution to the development of its key development project of ‘Public Sector Campus’ at the Downshire site.” continued Cllr Enright.
“This inaction by the Roads Service over projects that are to be independently the PSNI, Down Council and the South Eastern Trust is endangering Downpatrick’s economic future. Subsequent to my meeting with the Roads Service, I alerted my fellow councillors, MLA Chris Hazard, MP Margaret Ritchie and Council Chief Executive John Dumigan who is to make a personal approach to the Road Service to express his concerns over delays in these projects going back to 2006 and before. We need cross-party support to tackle this situation”, Concluded Councillor Enright.