Progress could be being made at last to reconstruct a village’s crumbling high street.

Port St Mary High Street, now mostly residential but also a through route for traffic and buses from the harbour, is extensively patched, badly potholed and failing in places – and has a reputation for being one of the worst roads in the island.

A £400,000 scheme to reconstruct it was drawn up by highway services in 2021 but was never submitted to Treasury.

Another business case was submitted to Treasury last August but was rejected.

But Infrastructure Minister Tim Crookall told Tynwald last month that an updated business case was due to be resubmitted to Treasury and he was hopeful that ‘we’ll be able to move forward this time’.

The Port St Mary High Street scheme is listed in the Budget Pink Book for ‘design and feasibility’ as one of 16 Department of Infrastructure schemes pending submission.

At February’s Tynwald sitting, Speaker and Rushen MHK Juan Watterson asked when the funding request for investigation works and detailed design was submitted to Treasury.

Mr Crookall replied: ‘Port St Mary High Street has structurally failed and requires a standalone discrete budget for a reconstruction scheme. Existing budgets are purely for preventative maintenance to preserve the highway network in its current state.’

He said his department has developed some schematic layout options but in order for the scheme to progress, further site investigations were required. These involved carrying out ground penetrating radar tests to establish if underground utilities or other structures such as cellars may be beneath the buildings along the road.

‘The outcome of these tests will feed into the detailed design of the project,’ Mr Crookall said. ‘A number of business cases, including Port St Mary High Street, were submitted to Treasury on August 22 last year, and were rejected.

‘The department has been working with Treasury and the updated business cases have been submitted for internal sign-off before they can be resubmitted to Treasury for a decision.’

Mr Watterson said the scheme was ‘really starting to show some progress’. He asked why the business case had been rejected by Treasury previously.

Mr Crookall replied: ‘Treasury wanted the department to do it on the current budget but the budget was already fully committed. And the last application to Treasury had been signed by the previous Minister, Mr Thomas, which they weren’t happy with. Hopefully we’ll be able to move forward this time.’