An investment of £30million in Mid and East Antrim roads over the past year is bringing real benefits for local communities, says Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard.
Confirming the investment of £30.59million 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 £30million in Mid and East Antrim over the past year including work on the A8 and A26 is making a real difference for local communities, improving road safety and reducing journey times for local people, as well ensuring the road network is maintained for the future.”
The final stage of a £133million scheme to dual 14.4 kilometres of the A8 Belfast to Larne road opened in December and drivers are now enjoying reduced journey times. Work on the £55million A26 dualling between Glarryford Crossroads and Drones Road continues to progress well with over half the 7.8 kilometres works now completed. Over £9million was invested in the Mid and east Antrim section of the scheme during the last year.
“The recent announcement from the Finance Minister of an additional £28million 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 Network Development Manager Alan Keys attended this week’s Mid and East Antrim Council meeting and highlighted a number of other improvement and maintenance schemes completed during 2015-2016.
He 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. Currently, all roadside verges and sightline grass will be cut at least once in the period April to October. 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."
Notes to editors:
1. The following schemes were completed in 2015-2016:
- £1.2million investment in approximately 10 kilometres of carriageway resurfacing at A2 Larne Road, A2 Old Shore Road, A26 Crankhill Road, B93 Glebe Road and C45 Liminary Road.
- £310,000 investment in a resurfacing programme of 67 kilometres of carriageway in the area.
- A junction improvement scheme at B52 Largy Road/Taylorstown Road/Ballybollen to improve safety for all users totalling £200,000. This involved local carriageway widening enabling the provision of right turning lanes in both directions on the main B52 Largy Road and 150m of footway close to the junction.
- A £540,000 upgrade of the junction of the B62 Cullybackey Road/Woodtown Road, Ballymena, now nearing completion. The scheme involves realignment of a section of the Woodtown Road between the B62 Cullybackey Road and the Old Cullybackey Road to provide safer right and left staggered facility and will improve safety for drivers approaching and at the junction.
- A new footway link over the railway bridge at Ballycarry Halt, Islandmagee.
- The upgrade of the zebra crossing in Broughshane to a Puffin crossing.
- A new zebra crossing on Parkway at Thomas Street roundabout, Ballymena.
- A 20mph pilot scheme at The Rosses, Ballymena, and the provision of additional parking at Clough Primary School.
2. 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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