Ballymena 'Makes Connection' To M2

The official opening of a new £12m stretch of road in Co Antrim took place this morning.

The M2/A26 Ballee Road East dualling scheme near Ballymena, involved the connection of the M2 Ballymena Bypass directly to a a now realigned A26 Ballee Road East dual carriageway.

The improvement to this important route to the North Coast and Coleraine was marked by an official ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday.

Roads Service staff, contractors and the Ballymena Mayor attending as NI Transport Minister Conor Murphy welcomed the development.

"This project will deliver significantly improved journey times and safety for all traffic travelling north and south along this route. Many people will now be looking forward to travelling on it and experiencing the important benefits that it will provide.

"This stretch of road is an essential element of the development in the area providing a direct connection between the M2 and the A26 dual carriageway, taking traffic off the Larne Road Roundabout and thus giving the traffic a continuous straight through route.

"The M2 Ballymena Bypass currently carries over 23,000 vehicles per day and the A26 Ballee Road East over 22,000 vehicles per day," he said, noting that the scheme was officially opened by the Mayor of Ballymena Borough Council, Maurice Mills.

The ceremony took place in the same week that Roads Service's progress on other investments - totalling £12.5m - in the Belfast area were being highlighted.
News Image
Minister Murphy noted that strategic road improvement works are being planned at the busy York Street interchange: "Following successful implementation of major works on both the M1/Westlink and M2 Motorways, this scheme will improve traffic flow and road safety on the Westlink, M2 and M3 approaches to this key intersection.

"Following completion of a Preliminary Options Report, six options have been reduced to four and public consultations on these are planned.

"I can also advise that road widening from a dual two lane to a dual three lane carriageway is planned for a 2.5 km stretch of the A2 at Sydenham Bypass.

"This key strategic route linking Belfast and Bangor also provides key gateways to George Best Belfast City Airport, Belfast Port and several large residential areas," he said.

"Consultations with local communities and their public representatives are well advanced and will continue during the design process."

However, he said: "The timescale for construction of these major undertakings is, as always dependant upon completion of the statutory processes, an economic appraisal and availability of funding."

Deputy Divisional Roads Manager, Bertie Ellison also commented and said: "A wide range of local schemes have been successfully planned and delivered in the Belfast city area in the past 12 months.

"These include 'channelisation' and island provision on the Old Holywood Road, street lighting schemes at Roden Street, Dunluce Avenue and Fernwood Street and traffic calming at Cupar Way.

"The ever tightening public expenditure environment in this current year is however challenging.

"Despite this, I remain committed to developing a programme of high priority road improvement and maintenance schemes for the City, so that these can be delivered as resources permit," he said.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

02 March 2018
Schools Closures Across NI
The Department of Education have published a list of all schools across that have confirmed they will be closed today, Friday 2nd March, 2018 due to the adverse weather conditions.
19 September 2018
Up To 100 Roads Closed As Storm Ali Hits NI
A growing number of roads across Northern Ireland are closed due to adverse weather conditions as a result of Storm Ali.
20 September 2018
Number Of Roads Remain Closed Following Storm Ali
A number of roads remain closed across Northern Ireland following the damage caused by Storm Ali. The following roads are still closed, however the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) is working to clear the obstructions along with its multiagency partners.
07 January 2014
Two Road Improvement Schemes For Newcastle
Transport Minister Danny Kennedy has said work is to commence next week on two road improvement schemes in Newcastle, Co Down. The schemes will total £324,000. Work on a £270,000 resurfacing scheme on the U6208 Shimna Road, Newcastle, and a £54,000 resurfacing scheme on Park Avenue, Newcastle, is to start on Monday 13 January 2014.
25 November 2015
Woman Killed In Co Armagh Road Collision
A woman in her 30s has been killed in a road crash in Portadown, Co Armagh. The woman was hit by a car as she was walking on the side of the Moy Road at around 9.45pm on Tuesday. The road was closed for a short time but it has been reopened. Police are appealing for any witnesses to contact them.