We cannot afford any more loss on A1, says Alliance representatives, bringing campaigners to Stormont

Alliance Banbridge Councillor Joy Ferguson, alongside A1 Campaigner Monica Heaney and others, are bringing a delegation of those who have been impacted by the so-far lack of redevelopment of the A1 to Stormont today (9 April).

Patrick Brown A1 joy ferguson

Campaigners are bringing their concerns relating to the lack of significant progress on Phase 2 upgrades to the Minister for Infrastructure, and to MLAs on the Infrastructure Committee. They have also approached the Business Committee about formally presenting Monica’s petition to the Assembly.


Phase 2 upgrades aim to provide further safety improvements along the A1 between Hillsborough and Loughbrickland, including provision of new grade-separated junctions, the closing of all gaps in the central reservations, and the provision of continuous central reservation safety barriers. Between 2002 and 2019 there have been 661 collisions and 41 people killed on the A1.


Cllr Ferguson has said “Even with the return of ministers, we still have no clarity on whether the needed funding will be allocated. The closure of the central reservation and the erection of a safety barrier is just one example of a feature within the Phase 2 plans which would immediately help prevent further collisions.


We simply cannot afford to see any more death, injury, or all-around tragedy on this stretch of road, especially when the plans for much-needed redevelopment exist, and are just waiting to be picked up.


I would urge the Minister to allocate the budget needed and respect the needs and wishes of the public and campaigners like Monica Heaney and Sinead Lunny, who have experienced indescribable grief and injury due to the absence of safety measures that have been in planning for years.”


Campaigner Monica Heaney added: “During my upcoming meeting with the Infrastructure Minister, I will be personally asking him to urgently fund Phase 2 plans and deliver the departmental resources needed to complete safety improvements on this treacherous road. I would also urge anyone else who has been impacted or is concerned about the A1 to sign our petition and get involved in the campaign.”


Banbridge resident Sinead Lunny will be joining the delegation, after having sustained multiple injuries in 2008 when a lorry crossed the carriageway on the A1 using the central reservation.


Describing her experience, Ms Lunny has said: “My near-fatal car accident has left me with life changing injuries in my lower back, knee, foot, pelvis, and ribs. I spent weeks in hospital having surgery, bone grafts and metal screws inserted to heal my injuries. I will always be grateful to the medical team who cared for me during my recovery, and I feel very lucky to be alive. However, we must do all we can to prevent similar happening to anyone else. Phase 2 upgrades on the A1 must be prioritised to protect further injury and trauma for all road users.”


South Down MLA Patrick Brown has added: “The A1 has posed immense safety concerns for a long, long time now, and it is imperative that upgrades are progress without any more delay. I have made this a top priority during my mandate, and I will continue to outline this to the Minister.”