Councillor 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 have met with the Road Service representatives for Downpatrick this 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 the PSNI and would go ahead in August. Now the date for this upgrade is not known.”
“We were expecting to see Road Service drawings of the upgrade of Collin’s corner for our meeting last week, they had been promised for June. The council was expecting to fund this upgrade as part of our contribution to the Downeshire project, but no drawings were available nor was there any knowledge of when they would be available”.
“The Roads Service Representative was even unaware of 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. No progress had been made either on mapping New Street on the site of the PSNI station for the one-way system in the Town.”
“This inaction by the Roads Service over projects essential to the development and maintenance of Public Sector jobs on the Downshire site is all the more inexplicable as the projects are being funded by 3rd parties. The PSNI and Council have each committed £200,000 under a binding ‘Article 122 agreement’ and the South Eastern Trust £500,000. I have 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 given the imminent opening of the new Council offices on the Downshire.”, Concluded Councillor Enright.