Devastating cuts to Roads Service maintenance budget will compromise Road Safety

unite-white-out-of-redReduction proposed to inspections regime, range of potholes patched and materials budget

 Unite is consulting workers on response to management proposals

March 30: Unite’s Regional Officer with responsibility for employees at the Roads Service, Gareth Scott has warned about the impact of the devastating cuts to the service:

“Unite representatives have been informed of plans to severely cut road maintenance services. Management are proposing reducing the inspection of rural roads for potholes from three times a year to once a year. It is also proposed that only the very worst potholes (category R1 – currently requiring 24 hour response) will be patched in future with all other grades of potholes including R2 and R3 unlikely to be dealt with.

“Workers have been told that the budget for materials has been restricted to £50 a day per depot meaning that work requiring consumption of working materials will be severely restricted. As such workers may be restricted to tasks such as road edging and outlets manual gully emptying – tasks that don’t require materials.

“We understand that there is no budget for the cost of salting roads in the coming winter; apparently the Department are relying on a reallocation from a future Monitoring Round for this funding.

“This situation is intolerable. The impact of these cuts will be to directly threaten road safety and could cost lives throughout Northern Ireland. Roads Service workers will be impacted through likely reductions in staff, work and pay – the union is concerned that the Department’s future plans may be to outsource or privatise the service altogether.

“Unite is discussing our response to this attack with Road Service representatives but these cuts will affect more than our members. They are an attack on the quality of life of rural communities and will impact the survival of businesses who will be forced to absorb the extra costs associated with an inadequate roads infrastructure”, Mr Scott concluded.

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One Response to Devastating cuts to Roads Service maintenance budget will compromise Road Safety

  1. The main factors in road safety are the vehicle, the driver and the road.

    The vehicle must be insured, taxed and MOTed, have good tyres and lights.

    The driver must be licensed to drive, must drive with due care and attention and not be under the influence of drink or drugs.

    If any of the above conditions are not met the police will take action.

    Road conditions can be poor due to weather but also due to lack of maintenance. In the latter case politicians and decision makers who decide not to maintain the roads (which have been paid for through various taxes, not least on fuel duty), thereby deliberately creating a reduction of safety on the roads should have to answer to a court of law, just as would those who breach driver and vehicle laws!

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