Drains plans answer Dromore flood fears

Transport NI has answered fears of Dromore town centre floods with news that blocked drains and gullies are due to be cleared in coming weeks.

Residents and traders alike had flagged up fears over the state of drains and gullies, particularly in the town centre.

A number of worried locals took their concerns to Lagan Valley MLA Brenda Hale’s office in town.

She in turn raised them with with Transport NI (fomerly Roads Service.)

“My office received complaints from local residents and shopkeepers regarding blocked drains and gullies in Dromore, particularly in the Town centre.,” she said.

“Correspondence was sent from my office to Transport NI and I am pleased to be informed that TransportNI staff should be in Dromore in the next few weeks to undertake this work.

“It is vital that this work is undertaken before the onset of the winter.”

A clearly cash-strapped Transport NI advised Mrs Hale that despite a skeleton service, born of financial constraints, work was planned to alleviate the problem.

“You will be aware,” it said, “of the very significant resource pressures the department (of regional development)is facing at the moment.

“Resource funding is used to deliver day-to-day maintenance activities on the road network, for example gully emptying and grass cutting.

“In the past this work has mainly been delivered by external contractors.

“Gully emptying operations are currently being carried out by TransportNI’s Operations and Maintenance staff within the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon area, in accordance with the revised policy reflecting the skeleton service constraints.

“Work has been ordered to include the cleaning of the gullies in central Dromore and our staff should be in the town within the next few weeks.

“It may require a few visits to complete the work as we are restricted to normal working hours when parked vehicles may prevent access to gullies.”

Transport NI said it would be appreciated if, when staff arrived on site, shop-owners and their customers could move their vehicles for the “relatively short time” required to clean each gully.”

Should any properties be threatened by flooding due to blocked gullies, occupants are advised to call the department’s emergency number - 028 3752 9500.