MLAs press need for city’s ‘missing link’

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Local politicians have met Transport Minister Michelle McIlveen to press the case for a Sprucefield to Knockmore link road.

Plans for a road linking Sprucefield to the north of the city have been discussed for years and last week Lagan Valley MLAs Edwin Poots, Paul Givan, Jonathan Craig and Brenda Hale urged the minister to reconsider what they called a vital piece of the city’s infrastructure.

The four met the minister at the park-and-ride at Sprucefield.

Said Mr Craig: “It was argued very strongly by myself and my colleagues that this was a vital piece of road infrastructure that has been missing in Lagan Valley for the past 20 years.

“This road, if delivered, would open up almost £1 billion pounds worth of private residential and industrial development.

“Equally it would allow industrial traffic to easily access the M1 motorway and the A1 dual carriageway, traffic which is presently travelling up the small rural road past Half Town and going through the historic village of Hillsborough, neither of which were designed to carry the heavy industrial traffic.

“For the past 15 years all new roads in Lisburn have been paid for by developers and no actual publicly funded roads have been delivered.

“We strongly argued that this is a prime example of where a key piece of public expenditure could open up opportunities for private development that could pay the initial public expenditure back.

“This needs to be our number one key piece of roads infrastructure for Lagan Valley.

“The ‘missing link’ needs to be delivered and will also be a key link in providing better access to the Balmoral show at the Maze.”