CSR briefing with DRD
The meeting started with an informative presentation by Nigel McCormick, Director of Finance in DRD, outlining the commitments the Department had in maintaining its infrastructure and capital resources. The financial breakdown was outlined for each of the areas responsible with approximately £300 million spent on roads, £200 million on water and £60 million on public transport.
The work completed in preceding years to counter historic underinvestment and to satisfy European criterion was also highlighted. It was noted that the Department finances also included contributions from the government of the Republic of Ireland, most notably for the construction of the A5 dual carriageway.
Much of the initial discussion from the floor was on the nature and provision of public transport. Doreen Brown, Deputy Secretary of the DRD discussed some of the more nuanced matters effecting public transport in Northern Ireland. The need to balance urban services, which are often shorter routes with a larger density of use, with longer inter-urban routes, was considered while agreeing that rural areas should not be overlooked in meeting these demands.
The questions then moved on to the importance of the development and maintenance of infrastructure to economic activity and the need to ensure that the transport network was still intact once the recession has passed. The need to balance future development with a move towards non fossil fuel based transport was highlighted.
As ever the opportunity to discuss with representatives of the Department was welcomed by the sector.
For all the latest news, events, case studies and blog comments on the Smart Solutions in Tough Times campaign, visit the campaign home page.
To see reports of the previous briefing meetings held with departments, see Meet the Government Departments.