No plans to upgrade A22, says Roads Minister
Minister for Regional Development Conor Murphy has said there will be no improvements carried out on the main Comber to Belfast Road despite recent flooding problems.
The minister was responding to questions put to him by Strangford MLA Simon Hamilton during a debate last week in the Northern Ireland Assembly.
The A22 was one of many roads in the North Down and Ards area that were flooded in January after torrential downpours.
“There are currently no plans to upgrade the A22 Comber to Belfast road,” confirmed Mr Murphy.
“However, my Department’s Roads Service are currently progressing a scheme to provide a combined off road footway/cycleway, from Comber through to Belfast City Centre, as an alternative to car travel. It is expected that this scheme will be completed by autumn 2008.”
Mr Hamilton said that the minister's response “alarmed him”.
“I have raised the need for an upgrading of this road with the minister some months ago,” said Mr Hamilton.
“He informed me that DRD Roads Service had no plans for improving the road. This alarms me greatly, particularly because of the steady growth in traffic along the road as well as the aforementioned flooding.
“This road has always had a problem with flooding and the heavy rain during January once again highlighted just how bad it is in certain places along the road. During the worst of the rain fall parts of the road were virtually impassable.
“Comber is a growing settlement and many people from other expanding towns and villages like Killyleagh and Killinchy travel through it on a daily basis on their way to work and school.
“Some 11,000 cars a day have to, on a regular basis, deal with flooding problems. I would call upon the Department for Regional Development to re-examine this road with a view to enhancing the road surface and overcoming the persistent drainage issues”.