Timing of £445k roads scheme 'leaves motorists facing misery'
The timing of a new £445,000 resurfacing scheme on a busy North Down road has been criticised.
Transport Minister Danny Kennedy announced the start of the work on the A2 Belfast Road (Belfast bound) between Ballysallagh Road and Ballyrobert Road junctions
The work began this Monday, September 2, and is expected to last for seven weeks until October 18.
However NI Conservatives' regional development spokesman Brian McBride criticised the timing of the road works which have coincided with the new school term.
"Back in May, the roads minister, Danny Kennedy, congratulated himself on announcing resurfacing work to the A2", Mr McBride said.
"What he didn't mention was that he had scheduled the scheme to start on the day after schools come back from their summer holidays, just when the road is at its busiest.
"This lack of thought and planning will condemn motorists to seven weeks of delays and disruption. Why on earth wasn't this work undertaken in July and August, when traffic on the A2 would have been at a minimum?
"This is exactly the sort of decision which, quite justifiably, enrages drivers. Mr Kennedy has condemned them to seven weeks of unnecessary misery, which could have been avoided with some thought and consideration."
Minister Mr Kennedy said the scheme demonstrated his Department's Roads Service "commitment to investment into the road network within the North Down area".
Lane restrictions will come into operation between Ballysallagh Road and Ballyrobert Road junctions and will operate as follows:
- Belfast bound in operation between 9.30am to 4.30m.
- Bangor bound in operation between 9.30am to 4pm.
During the contract period traffic will be restricted to a single lane at off-peak times. There will be no restrictions during the am and pm peak traffic flows Monday to Friday.
In order to complete the surfacing of the Belfast-bound carriageway safely it will be necessary to introduce a contra-flow arrangement during the weekend of October 12/13 to control traffic. This means that, during the two weekends, two-way single lane traffic flow will operate on the Bangor bound carriageway.
It is not intended to restrict traffic movements at Ballysallagh Road and Cootehall Road junctions with the A2.
The scheme is expected to be completed by October 18.
The above planned dates are subject to favourable weather conditions and Roads Service will keep the public informed of any change. Road users may wish to keep up to date with any revisions by checking the Roadworks Report at trafficwatchni.comexternal link
Roads Service has said it "carefully programmed the works operations and traffic management arrangements in order to minimise inconvenience to the public, however, motorists should be aware that some delays may be expected and that additional time should be allowed when planning journeys".
Previewing the work scheduled in the area over the next year Danny Kennedy said: "Roads Service's proposed programme for this financial year will see further resurfacing on the A2 Belfast Road – Ballysallagh Road to Ballyrobert Road as well as Newtownards Road roundabout in Bangor."