We cannot afford to lose any more lives on the A1, says Cllr Ferguson, calling for redevelopment to be prioritised

Alliance Banbridge Councillor Joy Ferguson has said that, as a matter of public safety, the development of the A1 motorway needs to be urgently prioritised to prevent further injury and needless loss of life.

A1 joy ferguson Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council

It comes after Cllr Ferguson’s motion passed unanimously at Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council, calling on the Council to recognise the urgent need for A1 infrastructure upgrades and the strong public support that exists for the improvements to take place. It also called on Council to recognise Phase 2 upgrades as a top priority infrastructure project, and for budget reallocation to deliver it.


The motion also commits the Council to writing to the Chief Executives of Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council calling for further support.


Cllr Ferguson has also lent her support to a long-standing petition calling for the urgent progression of improvements to the A1, after working with local campaigner Monica Heaney, mother of Karl Heaney, who sadly lost his life on the A1 between Banbridge and Dromore in 2018.


Cllr Ferguson has said: “I want to give my thanks to my Alliance Party colleagues and to Councillors from all other political parties for unanimously supporting my motion. With the vital role we play as local representatives, it’s so important we adopt a collective approach at Council to pursuing much needed improvements on the A1.


“The A1 dual carriageway is one of the most dangerous, if not the most dangerous, roads in Northern Ireland, seeing 661 collisions and 41 fatalities over a 17-year period. This is unacceptable. Behind every statistic are individuals who have tragically and needlessly lost their lives, with each leaving behind grieving families and friends, and we simply cannot afford to lose any more.


“As part of the campaign to raise public awareness about this, I would encourage everyone to voice their concerns by signing Monica Heaney’s online petitionThe petition has over 12,000 signatures but the depth of public feeling on the upgrades must be expressed in as great a number as possible to show government that this project can no longer be delayed or de-prioritised.


“It’s beyond time to step up and see the work needed being done. The passing of my motion is just the beginning of a long campaign to amplify the voices of the public who have been calling out for this for too long now. I’m proud that ABC Council are showing collective leadership in addressing severe deficiencies in A1 road safety.”


A1 campaigner Monica Heaney added: “I am pleased to see Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council taking this step to help re-prioritise the A1 upgrades. This is a small step in a long and arduous battle that my family have had in seeking urgent upgrades. I want to help save lives on the A1 and prevent other families from experiencing grief due to road collisions. I hope that Newry, Mourne and Down District Council and Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council can follow the lead of ABC Council and present a united Local Government effort to put the A1 at the top of the infrastructure agenda in Northern Ireland.”


You can find Monica’s online petition calling for the urgent prioritisation of upgrades to the A1 here: http://www.change.org/p/department-of-infrastructure-completion-of-a1-road-improvements