Under the changes, Chris Hazzard has been named as Minister for the Department for Infrastructure, combining many of the responsibilities previously managed by the now defunct Department of Environment (DOE) and Department for Regional Development (DRD).
The DOE was previously responsible for road safety, Operator licensing, roadside enforcement, vehicle testing and driver licensing while the DRD looked after road infrastructure, sustainable and public transport as well as local ports.
Seamus Leheny, FTA's policy and membership manager for Northern Ireland, said: “FTA is pleased that all the transport-related departments in NI are now under the one department and Minister, meaning greater coherence between everything transport-related in local government.”
He added that the FTA would be writing to the new Minister outlining two key priorities: “Prioritise the upgrades of the A6 Belfast to L’Derry road and the York Street Interchange in Belfast, both pivotal components of the strategic road network in Northern Ireland ensuring funding is secured and projects are delivered on time;
“Protect compliant commercial goods vehicle operators and improve road safety through targeted and consistent enforcement by the Driver & Vehicle Agency and the Transport Regulation Unit. This can be achieved through an effective enforcement strategy and adequate funding.”
The FTA also said it would be keen to engage with the new minister over the development of new vehicle test centres.
Leheny added: “FTA looks forward to working with Minister Hazzard and the newly-appointed Infrastructure Committee and continuing to be the voice of the transport industry at the Northern Ireland Assembly.”