Opposition MPs have chided the National Works Agency for not quickly addressing dust concerns along the South Coast Highway.

Opposition Spokesman on Finance Julian Robinson, called into question the government’s commitment to ensuring a safe and healthy environment for residents along the corridor due to their delayed response to the issue.

He was addressing Chief Executive Officer for the National Works Agency, E.G Hunter, at last week’s meeting of the Infrastructure and Physical Development Committee.

As work on the ambitious Southern Coastal Highway Improvement project continues, embittered residents have lambasted the government for the poor state of the existing corridor.

Chief among their concerns was the ever-present dust nuisance which irritated surrounding communities.

Mr. Robinson, while noting actions are now being taken to address the problem, says it took far too long.

Opposition Spokesman for Transport, Mikael Phillips, also questioned why it took the government years to address many of the issues affecting residents and motorists.

Mr. Hunter noted the complexity and scale of the road work as possible mitigating circumstances in terms of the management of the project.

However, he accepted more should have been done sooner to fix many of the problems.

Work will continue on the South Coast Highway this fiscal year with more than $20 billion set aside in the budget.