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Shock at £1.8m cost for Lisburn junction's filter traffic light

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The traffic lights at the Derriaghy road and McKinstry road junction at the Cutts which is due to get a new traffic lights system costing around £1.8m.  Photo by Peter Morrison

The traffic lights at the Derriaghy road and McKinstry road junction at the Cutts which is due to get a new traffic lights system costing around £1.8m. Photo by Peter Morrison

The traffic lights at the Derriaghy road and McKinstry road junction at the Cutts which is due to get a new traffic lights system costing around £1.8m. Photo by Peter Morrison

A councillor expressed his disbelief after learning it will cost £1.8m to install a filter light at a Lisburn junction.

DUP councillor Jonathan Craig said there were ongoing safety concerns from road users using the junction The Cutts, Derriaghy near the McKinstry Road.

He added that it was “absolutely shocking” and “alarming” that the design phase of a dangerous junction in north Lisburn would also cost £160,000.

It is understood that the preliminary estimate for the scheme is around £1.8m, with the road requiring “extensive carriageway widening and realignment” in order to accommodate the required signal equipment.

Mr Swann said: “People’s expectations have yet again been dashed because the brutal truth is that when the minister while approving the design has not put any capital aside to actually do the work at the junction.

“The other thing that I found very alarming was the roundabout just down from the junction, where the new McDonald’s was built, they had to introduce emergency legislation to bring in a 30mph speed limit.

“One would have to ask the question when they were going through the planning process why they did not think of that but that’s another issue.

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“What I found alarming is the fact that they stopped the 30mph speed limit on the McKinstry Road just short of this extremely dangerous junction.”

Mr Craig proposed that the 30mph speed limit be extended beyond the McKinstry Road junction with the Derriaghy Road.

SDLP Councillor Johnny McCarthy, who seconded Mr Craig’s proposal, said it was “incredible” how the costs of the scheme continue to increase.

“I think [a concern] is how the costs seem to increase every time we ask questions about this. I think it was three-quarters of a million, so to see £1.8m was quite incredible.

“I think bringing a 30mph to that junction is the only sensible thing to do.”

UUP councillor Alan Swann added: “It does make a lot of sense [to have the road at 30mph].

“If we are led to believe that we can’t put a filter light in because the road is 50mph then it would kill two birds with one stone and probably save us one million pound.”

Responding to a question on the road in the Assembly, Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon said it was expected that work on the junction would be completed in the “coming months”.

“I recognise the importance of road safety and in particular the ongoing safety concerns of citizens using the junction at McKinstry Road / The Cutts, Derriaghy,” Minister Mallon said.

“I am aware of the continued public concern and support for an improvement scheme and that a number of meetings highlighting this concern have taken place over the years with a number of elected representatives.

“Progression of the scheme thereafter will depend on satisfactory completion of the land acquisition process and availability of funding at the time.”


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