TRANSPORT Minister Danny Kennedy has secured £17.7 million in funding to buy 42 buses, improve street lighting and roads maintenance.
Speaking after the January Monitoring Round announcement today, the Minister revealed how the money will be divided up.
* £10 million going on roads maintenance;
* £3.7 millkion on six single decker busess and 14 Goldliner buses
* £3 million on 23 inter urban buses;
* and £1 million on street lighting.
The Minister said “As a result of January Monitoring, my Department has been successful in receiving £6.7m for bus fleet replacement.
“This will finance the purchase of six single deck buses and 13 Goldliners and the purchase of a separate batch of 23 Inter Urban buses by the end of the financial year.
“The 23 buses will be used on inter urban routes that are not covered by Goldline services.
“This additional investment in the current year will allow for the replacement of older vehicles and help to improve the average fleet age , emissions and provide higher levels of comfort and accessibility of the Translink fleet.
“This also will provide much needed funds to support our bus replacement programme across the budget period. Local dealerships will be involved in the supply chain here.”
As a result of the successful bids, the Translink fleet age and accessibility position will be 6.83 years and 99.82% accessibility by 31 March 2014.
Danny Kennedy also welcomed the additional £11 million investment in roads structural maintenance and street lighting.
He said: “I very much welcome this additional funding from the January Monitoring Round which will be targeted at maintaining infrastructure and will be a welcome boost to the construction industry.
“The additional roads funding will be spent on the resurfacing of local roads and footways to maintain and improve standards including resurfacing, reconstruction, patching and structural drainage.
“This will be a welcome boost to the construction industry. Based on recent independent figures it is estimated that this additional funding will help to sustain in the region of 280 jobs.
“There will be at least eight main contractors needed and a wide range of local sub-contractors and suppliers for roads maintenance and street lighting projects.
“The condition of Northern Ireland’s roads is of vital importance to the economy and it is essential therefore that they are properly maintained. This additional funding will bring road maintenance expenditure in 2012/13 to over £100million.
“The £1million for street lighting will be used to ensure the continuing provision of essential street lighting activities and will also be a boost for the industry.”