After more than a decade of delays, long-awaited safety improvements at busy junctions on Lisburn’s Knockmore Road could finally be progressed.
A cross-party delegation of elected representatives and council officers met last week with the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Infrastructure and a number of his senior officials to discuss how to move forward the stalled road upgrade works, which had been due to be completed by local housing developers.
The council sought the meeting in a bid to highlight concerns about the high number of collisions at the Knockmore Road / Ballinderry Road / Prince William Road junctions over recent years, some of which have been fatal.
Following last week’s meeting, council Chief Executive Dr Theresa Donaldson said the council is committed to progressing a joint approach to ensure the much-needed junction improvements are finally progressed.
“Over the years there has been extensive development in this area of Lisburn North making them unfit for purpose; and with more planned development now is the time to work in partnership with each other and developers to improve the road infrastructure,” she said.
“All parties at the meeting discussed in detail the complex history of the housing developments and the planning history of lands within Knockmore, Ballinderry and Prince William. The council will be taking forward a joint approach with those developers planning to build in these areas to deliver any agreed improvements.
“The safety of road users in the Lisburn Castlereagh area is important to the council and it looks forward to working closely with the Department for Infrastructure on this matter,” Dr Donaldson added.
The council is expected to host a meeting in partnership with the Department for Infrastructure sometime this month to engage with developers and their agents.
The local authority says the goal of the meeting will be to reach an agreement regarding the next steps in the process and establish a timetable for the improvement works.
A spokesperson for the Department for Infrastructure said that “given the complexities and the multitude of developers and planning applications there is a requirement to build and work in partnership in order to realise the upgrades planned for the Knockmore/Ballinderry/Prince William Road junctions.”
“The department are now in receipt of developer proposals for upgrading the junctions. The collective objective is that these proposals be assessed as expeditiously as is possible and lead to a construction programme and the planned meeting in April with developers’ agents is aimed at achieving this,” the spokesperson added.