Work on a major highway improvement scheme in the north of the Island has been put on hold for 12 months.
The decision to postpone the reconstruction of Lezayre Road in Ramsey has been taken following discussions between the Department of Infrastructure and the area’s political representatives.
The scheme, which will enhance the lifespan and ride quality of the road and modernise drainage and services, will now be reviewed with the intention of starting after the 2018 TT Festival.
Further consideration will be given to the delivery of the project, as part of the Department’s commitment to minimising the impact on residents, businesses and schools. Additional consultation will also take place with stakeholders.
Preparations had been put in place by the Department to begin the first phase of the scheme at the Bircham Avenue junction on Monday 26 June 2017, immediately after the British National Road Cycling Championship.
However, it has now been agreed to reschedule the work to start in June 2018.
Future phases of the scheme require the full closure of Lezayre Road for an extended period. The 12-month postponement will provide an opportunity to raise further public awareness of important issues such as the programming of the work, traffic management and access to properties.
The Department had initially looked at working with traffic lights in place in order to keep part of the road open. However, there is insufficient space to operate the site while maintaining staff and public safety.
Infrastructure Minister Ray Harmer MHK said: ‘The Lezayre Road scheme is a significant investment in Ramsey’s infrastructure that will deliver much-needed improvements to the road, drainage and utilities. While it is essential for this work to take place in the near-future, the Department has listened to the views of the local people and politicians for the area. Together we agreed that it would assist the people of Ramsey, the schools and businesses to put the scheme on hold for a year to allow further consultation and preparation.’
He added: ‘Meetings have been held with a range of stakeholders over recent months and those discussions will continue as we take the scheme forward. The need to communicate with the local community about major roadworks is taken very seriously by the Department, a point that was emphasised in the House of Keys last week. We will also use the time to see if there is scope to further reduce the overall duration of the work.’
‘This scheme is part of the Department’s focus on maintaining our national assets and providing the infrastructure to meet the Island’s social and economic needs.’