Hundreds back road safety call

The image of the Knockmore Road/Ballinderry Road junction used as part of the online petition. A traffic island has been installed at the staggered crossroads since this picture was taken. Pic by Google
The image of the Knockmore Road/Ballinderry Road junction used as part of the online petition. A traffic island has been installed at the staggered crossroads since this picture was taken. Pic by Google

Hundreds of people have signed an online petition demanding that long-awaited safety improvements on Lisburn’s Knockmore Road are delivered as soon as possible.

At the time of going to print, more than 500 people had signed the petition, which calls on the relevant authorities to ensure junction upgrade works are carried out on the busy route without further delay.

The petition, started by a ‘concerned road user’ on the change.org website last week, quotes the story carried in last week’s Ulster Star, which revealed that while three local housing developers are responsible for carrying out the junction improvements, there is now a dispute between council planners and TransportNI about whose job it is to ensure they complete the work.

According to the Department for Infrastructure, the developers are responsible for improving the Knockmore Road/Prince William Road junction and the installation of traffic signals at the Ballinderry Road/Knockmore Road and Ballymacash Road/Prince William Road junctions. However, the developers are unhappy with changes that have been made to the plans by the department over the past decade, meaning the cost of the proposed work has escalated considerably.

While council planners argue that TransportNI is responsible for making sure the developers complete the work, the department says it is the local authority that must enforce an Article 40 planning agreement. But with that dispute only likely to further delay the long-running saga, local people have said it’s now time for the procrastinating to stop and the roadworks to begin.

The petition states that “there have been numerous accidents, near misses and fatalities over the years on this extremely busy 50 mph road” and calls on council planners to put a stop to any further development in the area until the necessary road improvements are in place.

Stressing that the issue has been allowed to rumble on for more than 10 years, the petition says: “This cannot be allowed to continue. Local residents are placed in an unsafe, dangerous situation. One more accident, serious injury or death is one too many.”

The petition, which will be delivered to Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council, can be accessed online at www.change.org/p/traffic-lights-needed-on-knockmore-road-lisburn-urgently or by clicking here.
• Crash victim says safety improvements are needed now - see story here.