Work begins on safety measures at site of cycle fatality

Mohamed Mahfouz Balid, who was killed on the Ballinderry Road last month.
Mohamed Mahfouz Balid, who was killed on the Ballinderry Road last month.

TransportNI is currently constructing a shared pedestrian and cycle path along the Knockmore Road, which it is hoped will improve safety on this busy stretch of road.

A pedestrian crossing and short stretch of footpath on the Ballinderry Road are also being installed following pleas from the local community for improvements to the junction,

The works follow shortly after the death of Mohamed Mahfouz Balid, the Syrian father of four who was tragically killed 
whilst cycling at the junction last month.

A spokesperson for TransportNI explained: “TransportNI is currently constructing a shared pedestrian and cycle path along the Knockmore Road in Lisburn from Flush Park to Ballinderry Road.

“The scheme, representing an investment of approximately £80,000, includes the construction of a pedestrian island at the Knockmore and Ballinderry Road junction to help pedestrians wishing to cross the Knockmore Road.

“In addition, a short stretch of footway is being constructed along the Ballinderry Road towards Ballinderry to provide a footway link from the junction to the existing footway further along the road.”

The work has been welcomed by Lisburn’s Deputy Mayor, Councillor Alexander Redpath.

“I have pressed the Departments of the Environment and Regional Development to take action at this junction for a number of years,” said Mr Redpath. “

The departments were repeatedly warned that without action further deaths and serious injuries would occur at this junction.

“I welcome the improvements currently underway and I will continue to press the departments for the traffic lights that were identified as being essential when the development plans for this area were put forward.

“Sadly these improvements come too late to save the life of Mohamed Mafouz Balid. My thoughts and prayers remain with his family and friends at this difficult time.”

Ulster Unionist Assembly candidate Robbie Butler also welcomed the news: “Having been personally involved with the Balid family since the death of Mohamed Mafouz Balid, the cyclist recently killed at this junction, I welcome this interim measure.

“Sadly whilst it won’t heal the sadness for his wife and children I hope that in some way they can feel that their loss has brought some good and improvement for the safety of others.

“I would also plead with road users to exercise extreme caution at this and other junctions as we are still seeing to many accidents resulting in injuries and death.”