£437m spent on NI roads this year - up by 19%

  • £437m has been spent on Northern Ireland’s roads this year with a 19% increase since 2017/18, according to a new report from the Department of Infrastructure (DfI).  

    Over £131m was spent on new road construction and improvement in 2018/19.

    This accounted for 30% of the entire £437m spent on Northern Ireland roads. Structural, routine and winter road maintenance accounted for 31% of the money spent, while public lighting only took up 4%.

    As of 1 April 2019, there were 25,735 kilometres of public road in Northern Ireland. 61% of these were unclassified roads, accounting for the largest proportion.

    Analysis of the urban/rural split of the road network revealed that 77% of of carriageway road lengths are rural.

    Overall, there has been a surge in the amount of people using public transport. The number of people using Ulsterbus has increased by 2% since 2017/8, accounting for nearly half of the 68.7m bus passenger journeys made over the last year.

    There were also 3.7 million passenger journeys on Glider services since they were introduced on 3 September 2018 up to 31 March 2019.

    Additionally there has been a huge 79% increase of older people uptaking public transport SmartPasses (60+ SmartPass and Senior (65+) SmartPass).

    Despite this increase, the DfI previously warned that continued budget cuts will severely impact Translink NI's provision of public transport throughout Northern Ireland, stating that the company "could not sustain a deficit in 2020-21 as its reserves will have been significantly depleted."

    Between 2015 and 2017, one sixth of people aged 16 and over reported having a mobility difficulty, according to the Travel Survey for Northern Ireland. On average, those people made 39% less journeys than those without a mobility difficulty per year.

    However of the 1,303 buses and coaches used as Public Service Vehicles in Northern Ireland as of 31 March 2019, 88% were low-floor wheelchair accessible buses and 10% were wheelchair accessible coaches.

    About the author

    Niamh is a Sync NI writer with a previous background of working in FinTech and financial crime. She has a special interest in sports and emerging technologies. To connect with Niamh, feel free to send her an email or connect on Twitter.

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