Hazzard Presses For Action On Key Infrastructure Schemes

Sinn Féin seeks movement on key infrastructure schemes in South Down.

Sinn Féin seeks movement on key infrastructure schemes in South Down.

South Down MP Chris Hazzard and Cllr Cathy Mason met with DFI Roads senior management this week to discuss a number of priority infrastructure schemes within the South Down area. 

The South Down MP raised various issues with the Southern Divisional Manager, including:

  • the Ballynahinch Bypass
  • ongoing Downpatrick congestion,
  • and the need for urgent investment in active travel and cycling schemes throughout the area.
South Down Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard with Councillor Cathy Mason at Rathkeltair House in Downpatrick which is to be further developed as a civil service hub.

Mr Hazzard said: “We had a very constructive discussion and it was positive to hear that progress is being made on a number of important schemes across South Down – not least the urgent need to deliver a significant improvement in the amount of safe, active travel routes for cyclists and pedestrians. 

“However, I repeated the point once again that the lack of progress regarding the Ballynahinch Bypass is unacceptable.

“Some months ago the Minister released a press statement that she was “minded” to make the ‘direction order’ in relation to this vitally important local infrastructure project, yet we’ve had no movement. 

“The Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon must urgently make the order, and prioritise the necessary funding to get this long overdue project started. With a capital budget of more than £750million for this year alone for her department, the Minister should move urgently to announce a construction date for this shovel ready scheme.”

Cllr Cathy Mason added: “I also welcomed the opportunity to raise the poor surface condition of many of our local roads here in South Down – especially in the wider Lecale area.

“It was pleasing to hear that DFI Roads agree that much investment is required and that they are continuing to look for ways in which current legal issues can be overcome in securing a new deal with contractors to carry out this work.”