The infrastructure minister has said the department will be looking for an increase in budget from Treasury next year so it can do more works on the roads.
In this month’s Tynwald sitting, which took place on Tuesday, Tim Crookall was asked by Middle MHK Stu Peters if more needed to be spent on improving the road network in the island, especially main roads that have become compromised by increased traffic from new housing developments, saying that there was a ’disproportionate tax burden endured by vehicle users’.
The minister agreed and added: ’We should be looking to Treasury this year, hopefully for an increase in our budget so we can do some more works on the roads - finance and staff permitting.’
Mr Peters also asked about how much was spent on maintaining the roads in the last three years.
Mr Crookall said: ’There is an expenditure on road-related capital improvement schemes each year that are available in the Pink Book.
’Of this, the following capital money has been spent on overlaying, surface dressing, and micro-asphalting the road which can be classified as maintenance as well, although they are being funded through capital investment.
’For those three years, the total is £14,148,600.’
Following this, Bill Henderson MLC asked if a review of road maintenance would be prioritised.
The infrastructure minister said: ’Yes, I would agree.
’My department, like the health department, could probably spend as much as we could get hold of in the next 35 years to repair the roads and the infrastructure around the island, subject to contracts or staffing problems.’
Arbory, Castletown and Malew MHK Jason Moorhouse mentioned the specific impact of potholes and asked if there was any data on the cost spent on updating and removing them, to which Mr Crookall said he wasn’t aware of the cost but would look into the cost of a pothole and how many the department repairs per year.