Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has announced new measures to address traffic flow on north Belfast’s Antrim Road.
The introduction of a tidal urban clearway operating at peak times only will help to maintain traffic flow, but also meet the needs of the many businesses in the area for parking and loading requirements. The clearway will apply only in the Belfast bound lanes in the morning and only on the country bound lanes in the evening. The proposals will affect Antrim Road from its junction with Cliftonville Road to the M2 over-bridge, just south of Glengormley. Currently the urban clearway restriction along the Antrim Road applies in both directions from 8.00 am to 9.30 am and from 4.30 pm to 6.00 pm.
Speaking about the proposed changes, Minister Hazzard said:
“This has been a long running issue in what is a well used commuter route but also a thriving business and shopping area within the city. I have taken on board a number of views in order to provide a solution that will balance the needs of local residents and traders with the wider economic need to provide efficient travel within the city. A tidal urban clearway arrangement could make the best use of road space by managing parking and loading activities, whilst still tackling congestion on the route.
“Previous experience demonstrates that introducing similar arrangements on other congested routes such as the Lisburn Road, Malone Road and Stranmillis Road have had a positive impact on businesses and there was no significant impact on journey times or road safety. TransportNI will be engaging directly with stakeholders including the PSNI and Belfast City Council and I encourage people to put forward their views during the consultation process.”
The new arrangements will be consulted on in the next few months, with a view to introducing the scheme in Autumn 2017.
Notes to editors:
- The proposed scheme on Antrim Road will extend from Cliftonville Road to the M2 over bridge. It is proposed that the section between Carlisle Circus and Cliftonville Road will remain as existing. These measures will ensure that the peak traffic movements will be maintained.
- This arrangement is similar to Lisburn Road – the busiest section from Tate’s Avenue to Bradbury place remains an urban clearway in both directions in the morning and evening peaks.
- An experimental traffic control order is made for an initial period of six months. The Department is able to continue, modify, suspend or revoke the order and it shall, unless previously revoked, cease to be in force at the end of the six months from the date at which it came into force. However, it can be continued, by further periods not exceeding six months, up to a maximum of 18 months from the date when it first came into force. Each time an experimental scheme is extended a further Notice and Direction Order is required.
- TransportNI propose to carry out the consultation exercise with stakeholders which include frontagers, businesses, Emergency Services, political parties, Belfast City Council, Freight Transport Association, PSNI, NI Chamber of Commerce, Federation of Small Businesses, Northern Ireland Cycling Initiative, Translink and the Northern Ireland Independent Retail Association.
- All responses will be carefully considered and addressed by the Minister before prior to the commencement of any formal legislative process. It may take up to six months for the consultation process to be completed.
- All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or email: email@example.com. Out of hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.
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