The Department of Infrastructure (DoI) will have a budget of £6.6 million for highway maintenance works in the 2024/25 financial year.

That is according to Infrastructure Minister Tim Crookall, who also confirmed that roads are assessed more frequently if they are seen as ‘primary’ roads.

Speaking during Tuesday’s (March 26) sitting of the House of Keys, Mr Crookall said: ‘All roads are inspected at least once a year.

‘The frequency of these inspections vary according to the category of the road. Primary roads are inspected monthly, distributor roads every three months, local roads every six months and railway roads every 12 months.

‘The department does not have any fixed estimated costs of outstanding highway general maintenance work, as there may be several contributing factors involved which will not be apparent until a site investigation is carried out.

‘However, we have costed rolling programmes of prioritised works that are delivered through the allocated annual budget for highway maintenance, which is £6.6 million for 2024/25.’

David Ashford, MHK for Douglas North, enquired whether the DoI has an overall picture of the works which need to be done in the island across the year, and how the budget would be allocated for them to do those works.

Mr Crookall replied that the DoI does have an overall picture, but that this picture can easily change because of the unpredictability of roads.

He said: ‘Honourable members regularly come forward and tell me about certain problems that need fixing. We take that into consideration, especially if it’s for safety reasons, and this shows that things can change.

‘Everything has to be prioritised and we do upset members when they come to us, but all these things go on the list to be done. We don’t do anyone any favours.’

Michelle Haywood, MHK for Rushen, recently planted daffodils in pot holes in Port St Mary in order to highlight the poor state of the roads in her constituency.

A £400,000 scheme to revamp the road was rejected in 2023 by the DOI, who initially put together the business case for the reconstruction of Port St Mary High Street in July 2021.

However, Port St Mary Commissioners were subsequently informed that it had been given the go-ahead by the department and submitted for Treasury approval.

Since Dr Haywood’s daffodil planting, the potholes have been patched by the DoI, with Dr Haywood confirming she is ‘working on a permanent solution’.

Mr Crookall said that these types of issues are looked at less frequently. He said: ‘Minor capital works, such as potholes, are looked at roughly every three months.

‘People are always notifying us of these issues through [email protected], which we always look at.’