£750k needed for road safety improvements at busy junction

The McKinstry Road/The Cutts junction. Pic by Google Street View

The McKinstry Road/The Cutts junction. Pic by Google Street View

Much-needed safety improvements at the junction of McKinstry Road and The Cutts won’t go ahead unless TransportNI can find the £750,000 needed to fund the project.

Cllr Margaret Tolerton, who recently attended a site meeting with Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP, TransportNI officials and local school representatives, told the council’s latest monthly meeting that a safety improvement scheme for the junction has been “raised to the very highest priority in Eastern Division.”

However, the DUP representative went on to say that the department will need to find £750,000 in order to complete the work.

Cllr Tolerton said that Mr Donaldson is now going to write to Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir to ask for the release of the necessary funding.

Thanking her colleagues for campaigning for safety improvements at the junction, the Lisburn North councillor said she hopes to see the work done during the current financial year, but stressed that that depends on the funding being made available.

Cllr Brian Bloomfield described the crossroads as “a death trap” and said he would welcome any safety improvements.

A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson confirmed that upgrading the junction to current design standards would require “extensive carriageway widening and realignment.”

She said: “The Department is aware of public concern regarding right turn facilities at the junction of McKinstry Road and Derriaghy Road/The Cutts. TransportNI has identified a potential solution which would fully control the right turn traffic movements. However, to do this to current design standards would require extensive carriageway widening and realignment to provide the traffic islands necessary to house the additional traffic signal poles needed. This is a relatively expensive scheme with projected costs in the order of £750-800k.”

The spokesperson added: “Due to the limited resources currently at our disposal it has not been possible to progress an improvement scheme at this time. The Department will however continue to keep the situation under review and bid for the resources to progress the scheme.”