Belfast Telegraph

Flight plan hit by roadworks

by Natalie Irvine

A tourist hoping to make his flight back to England was left irate after being held up in a traffic jam “caused by the M2 lane closure near the Sydenham bypass”.

Last week, UUP councillor Jim Rodgers contacted the Community Telegraph to explain: “My friend left to catch his flight back to England two Sundays ago, but was held up by queues the lane closure had caused.

“The work to strengthen that stretch of road is very necessary, but there has been a lack of signage to forewarn drivers of the possible delays. My friend was irate when he missed his flight because of the tailbacks.

“I feel there should be a large electronic display board used in instances such as this, positioned in a suitable position to allow drivers to have plenty of notice in order to take an alternative route. That had not happened, as far as I am aware.”

A spokesperson from the Department of Regional Development said: “Advance signing began between City Airport and Dee Street where two lanes merged into one.

“Road users travelling to the M2 and International Airport from east Belfast were affected by delays as a result of this layout. The delays were estimated to be in the region of 20 minutes.

“In order to inform road users about this diversion a Variable Message Sign (VMS) was placed at Tillysburn in order to advise road users in advance of the works and to allow traffic to select an alternative route along the A55 or Old Holywood Road.

“However, this sign was not correctly positioned during the weekend of August 28-30. Both Roads Service and Highway Management received complaints about this.

“This advance VMS signage at Tillysburn was correctly placed during closures between September 4 and 6 and September 11 and 13. Highway Management also set up VMS at Dee Street, approximately four weeks in advance to advise of the closures.

“All closures on M3 Lagan Bridge have been advertised on www.trafficwatchni.com/ since May 2010 and information was circulated to local radio. Roads Service apologises for any inconvenience caused.”

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