‘We haven’t abandoned Rathlin Island’ - roads boss

ROADS Service chief John McKinley says they have not “abandoned” the roads on Rathlin Island.

He was speaking at a meeting of Moyle Council where Council Chairperson, Cllr Cara McShane, claimed roads on Rathlin are up to standard even though thousands of people visit the island.

Cllr Joan Baird claimed some people on Rathlin are being “persecuted” over PSV and roads matters “but yet they are not really getting proper roads”.

Mr McKinley said substantial maintenance work is needed on Rathlin’s roads and they are looking at doing that.

He said Roads Service expenditure on Rathlin is “considerable” and four to five times as much to carry out road repairs on the island as on the Northern Ireland mainland.

“We do carry out what I believe is an excellent service on Rathlin. We have been over twice this year weed spraying. We have carried out immense work....resurfacing...we do get praise, we haven’t abandoned Rathlin Island,” said Mr McKinley.

Cllr Baird said she was sure Scotland does the same for its islands.

Cllr Sandra Hunter said when she was on Rathlin recently she was told the roads are not swept but she believed that was because the sweeper lorries cannot fit on the ferry.

The councillor, a farmer, said she offered to supply a sweeper which could be fitted on the back of a tractor.

John McKinley agreed there are difficulties getting a sweeper onto the island and said they had looked at getting a smaller sweeper over but the feedback was that because it does not lift the swept material it would be unsuitable.