M1 bus lane set to be extended

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The M1 busway is set to be extended in an attempt to ease rush hour traffic congestion from Belfast to Lisburn.

The motorway busway will be extended as far back as Sprucefield, with work not expected to star until next year.

Infastructure Minister Chris Hazzard said the additional 2.2 miles is a bid to aid journey times and reliability in public transport.

A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said: “A scheme to extend the bus lanes on the M1 to Sprucefield is currently being prepared for tender, the estimated cost for the M1 hard shoulder busway is £1.7m.

“The total length of extension is 3.5km. (2.2 miles) and is made up of 3 sections: Blaris (Junction 8 ) to Sprucefield (Junction 7)= 0.6km, (0.4 miles); Sprucefield (Junction 7) to Saintfield Road (Junction 6)= 1.3km, (0.8 miles); Saintfield Road (Junction 6) to new Applegreen motorway service area = 1.6km. (1.0 miles).

“The existing hard shoulder busway is 4.2km. (2.6 miles), this is made up of 2 sections: Ballyskeagh overbridge to Blacks Rd (Junction 3) = 3.0km (1.9 miles); Stockmans Lane (Junction 2) to Broadway (Junction 1) = 1.2km. (0.7 miles).

“The construction works should not cause any significant disruption to motorists. The work is mainly in the verge and will involve traffic management on the hard shoulder.

“Running lanes will not normally be affected. Any requirement for lane closures will be restricted to non peak periods.”