Investment of £11 million in Antrim and Newtownabbey roads benefits local communities - Hazzard

Date published: 27 June 2016

An investment of over £11m in Antrim and Newtownabbey roads over the past year is bringing real benefits for local communities, says Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard.

Antrim and Newtownabbey District Council area report

Confirming the investment of £11.52m on road schemes in the area during the 2015-2016 financial year, Minister Hazzard said: 

“Improving transport connections along our key routes while maintaining a network which is fit for purpose for all users is a priority for the Executive.

“Investment of more than £11m in Mid and East Antrim over the past year including the delivery of dualling schemes on the A8 Belfast to Larne and A2 Shore Road at Greenisland is making a real difference for local communities, improving road safety and reducing journey times for local people, as well as ensuring the road network is maintained for the future.”

The final stage of a £133m scheme to dual 14.4 kilometres of the A8 Belfast to Larne road opened in December and drivers are now enjoying reduced journey times. 

In September 2015 the £50m scheme to widen 1.9 kilometres of the existing A2 Shore Road between Jordanstown Road and Station Road to an urban dual carriageway and also the 1.6 kilometres of new off-line dual carriageway between Station Road and Seapark, was fully opened to traffic.

The Minister continued: 

“The recent announcement from the Finance Minister of an additional £28m for my department is a welcome boost and while it is necessary to prioritise activity, a significant part of this will be used to improve rural roads and roads maintenance.”

TransportNI Northern Division’s Manager Deidre Mackle attended this week’s Antrim and Newtownabbey Council meeting and highlighted a number of other improvement and maintenance schemes completed during 2015-2016. She made reference to the £1.2m junction upgrade scheme at Stiles Way / Steeple Road junction in Antrim. The new junction layout retains traffic signal control but the improvements will lead to a significant increase in capacity of the junction. This crossroads junction had been under pressure for some time with significant queues and delays during peak periods.  It is a key junction on a route which serves a number of significant generators of large volumes of traffic including Antrim town centre, Belfast International Airport, Antrim Area Hospital, a number of large schools, industrial estates and housing areas. The scheme will improve the flow of traffic through the junction and help to reduce queues and delays thus improving journey times along this key route in Antrim.

She also clarified the current position in relation to grass cutting services saying: 

“To ensure public safety is not compromised, sightlines will be cut as required throughout the season. A second grass cut will be programmed across all areas. Many councils cut urban grass areas last year and I would welcome any further commitment to continue with this practice. Regrettably, the Department will not be able to fund Councils to cut grass for amenity purposes this year."

You can view the annual report to Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council 2016 in the publications section of the website:

Notes to editors: 

  1. Completed schemes in 2015-2016 included the following:
  • £1.6m investment in approximately 11 kilometres of carriageway resurfacing at various locations such as A57 Ballyclare Road Templepatrick, A6 Antrim Road Glengormley, A26 Dunsilly Roundabout, C31 Carntall Road and B56 Ballyclare Road
  • £203,000 investment in a surface dressing programme of 35 kilometers of carriageway in the area
  • a £21,000 improvement scheme at the junction of the Old Coach Road / Lowtown Road has improved visibility to the right for vehicles exiting the junction.
  • missing links of footway were provided at Brantwood Gardens and Dublin Road in Antrim
  • the upgrade of traffic signals at Castle Way / Dublin Road, Antrim which increased the capacity of the junction as well as providing improved pedestrian facilities
  • safety measures such as upgraded traffic signs, enhanced road markings and red coloured surfacing have been introduced at Creggan Village, Staffordstown
  • collision remedial schemes were carried out at Monkstown Road / Bridge Road Newtownabbey and at Dungonnell Road, Antrim
  • traffic calming schemes were carried out at Victoria Road, Ballyclare and at Merville Garden Village, Newtownabbey
  • park and ride car parks have been completed at New Street, Randalstown and Ballynure Village for those wishing to use the bus service or park and share transport
  1. Media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 076 9971 5440 and your call will be returned.

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