Alliance representatives have welcomed the go-ahead for phase two of the A1 dual carriageway improvement scheme.
The project will address safety issues at junctions along an over 15-mile stretch of the road between Hillsborough and Loughbrickland. The route, one of the busiest in Northern Ireland, has seen a number of fatal accidents over the past number of years. It has been given Ministerial approval by Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon, subject to funding.
Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson Andrew Muir MLA said it was “a milestone”.
“This is a milestone for the A1 road improvement scheme. This project is one of the most important in Northern Ireland, as every year this stretch of the A1 is unfortunately the scene of serious and sometimes fatal road traffic collisions.”
Alliance Banbridge Councillor Brian Pope, who has long campaigned for safety measures on the road, said the priority must now switch to funding.
“Today’s decision is welcome, but the scheme must also be a funding priority for the Department and the business case and procurement process should now proceed without delay. After many years of campaigning, local residents will be relieved to hear this roads scheme is one step closer to proceeding.”
“It is essential this scheme is moved forward without delay at a pace reflective of its importance,” added Alliance Lisburn and Castlereagh Councillor Sorcha Eastwood.
“Tragically, there have been many lives lost on this road and I know the community want this project to be delivered as a matter of urgency.”