Manx companies preferred for roadworks

The Infrastructure Minister insists his Department will continue to use local contractors where possible for roadwork schemes on the Island.

Ramsey MHK Alex Allinson asked Ray Harmer in this month's sitting of Tynwald to consider using a UK company to save time and money on the Lezayre Road project, which is currently on hold.

The scheme began earlier this year, but was halted amid concerns over road closures and public safety.

However, Mr Harmer wants his Department to support the local economy by using Manx companies, while work permit restrictions would also hinder an off-Island contractor.

The Minister revealed it costs around £150 to reconstruct a square metre of road locally, compared to £100 to £130 in the UK, with tarmac costing around 40% more on the Island.

The reconstruction work at Lezayre Road - which is now expected to begin next year - will cost around £800,000 and take 18 months.