Upper Ballinderry is set for major improvement work

A £750,000 road improvement scheme for Upper Ballinderry is set to begin later this year, according to Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy.

Mr Kennedy made the announcement that will improve both road safety and traffic flow around the Glenavy and Ballinderry Roads which according to Mr Kennedy will ‘bring benefits to road users.’

Improvements will be made to the A26 Glenavy Road at the junction of Lower Ballinderry and Ballinderry Roads in Upper Ballinderry.

Mr. Kennedy said: “This scheme represents a very significant financial investment and will bring benefits for all road users in the area.

“The improvements will include a realignment of the Ballinderry Road and provision of right turn pockets on the A26 Glenavy Road for vehicles turning right onto the Lower Ballinderry and Ballinderry Road.

“This, much anticipated, scheme will help improve road safety and traffic flow on this busy stretch of road.”

The necessary vesting process is scheduled to commence in April and, subject to the outcome of discussions with landowners, construction work is expected to begin on site in the autumn.

The improvements are likely to take around six months to complete.

Roads Service will be consulting with local residents and business owners regarding the traffic management during the delivery of the scheme.

Killultagh Alliance representatives Jonathan McCrea welcomed the work.

He said: “I regularly use the A26 I know to take extra care when approaching the junction at Upper Ballinderry. Drivers from Ballinderry travelling to and from Lisburn have to cross both lanes of the A26. I have seen quite a few near misses and drivers having to take evasive action at this junction.

“However, I am very pleased to learn from Roads Service that plans are in place to make significant improvements at this crossroads, including ‘ghost island’ turning lanes”.

“Some of the other junctions on this route remain quite challenging and debris is often seen from crashes near these junctions. Along the routes we regularly use, we may see other hazards. This information can be very helpful for road engineers as they seek to make our roads safer.”