Slieve Gullion Sinn Féin Councillor Mickey Larkin has met with Transport NI in Dromintee and Jonesborough to express concerns about road conditions in the local community.
Following the meeting, Larkin said the meeting was a constructive opportunity with authorities to highlight the dire state of rural infrastructure:
"I was able at short notice to arrange a site meeting with a Transport NI engineer in order to highlight a number of serious issues including potholes and verge cutting in the Dromintee and Jonesborough area.
“Several narrow roads in the area have still not had their verges cut back, creating dangers for both motorists and pedestrians. Briars are meeting in the middle of some roads and sight lines have virtually disappeared.
“There are numerous potholes growing in size, some of which I reported months ago. The approaches to many of our villages are rapidly deteriorating, and to residents and tourists have the appearance of abandonment.”
“Both I and Megan Fearon MLA have successfully lobbied authorities over the last three years to have a number of roads resurfaced, but much more investment is required to bring rural areas like these to a standard in keeping with our towns."
Cllr Larkin said it was clear that despite his on-going lobbying and engagement, continuous and damaging budget cuts to vital services was having a real impact on the local community:
“The engineer, although sympathetic, explained the problems faced by himself and the Department. One shocking revelation was the fact that potholes must be 4 inches deep before they are scheduled for repair.
“This is totally unacceptable. While I understand our public services are under assault from years of Tory austerity, much more must be done with existing resources to ensure rural communities are not deserted in this fashion.
“I will be in contact with the Sector Management Team this week to impress upon them the urgency of the situation and to insist that solutions are found to reassure the residents of Dromintee and Jonesborough that their safety and wellbeing are the top priority for the Department."