Alliance North Down MLA Dr Stephen Farry has highlighted the need for improvements to be made to the A2 road, to reduce the number of accidents and ease congestion.
Dr Farry, who was speaking during an Assembly debate said: “The status quo for the A2 is simply not sustainable for one of the most used roads in Northern Ireland. In essence, the road has developed without sufficient recognition being taken of the character of the area around it and the fact that it is a residential area.
“We have a situation where there are two competing requirements here. The first is how we best combat congestion, but the paramount interest has to be that of road safety, given that the situation is getting critical. We need to consider the provision of some dedicated right-hand-turn facilities at certain points along the road. It may even be that we have to make it illegal to make right-hand turns at certain places and request that, as happens in other situations, people go to a safer junction and double back to make what will, in due course, become a left-hand turn.
“We also need to address some of the really difficult junctions, in particular between Ballyrobert and Holywood. I also want to highlight concerns about the entrance to the Kinnegar area, which is, in theory, blocked off by safety barriers. There is now the potential for the MOD Kinnegar base to be sold off, and the likelihood is that it will be used for housing, which will place further and greater pressure on the area.
“It is also worth putting on record that the A2 cannot be seen in isolation. There are also the issues with the Sydenham bypass, which needs a third lane added right through to Dee Street. That is a problem. The Rathgael Road in Bangor perhaps does not have the same number of road accidents as the A2, but it is essentially a C-class rural road that has developed over the years because of the volume of traffic using it. More and more housing developments back on to it, including the site of the Helen’s Wood proposal. Again, that is a situation that will not be sustainable and needs considered as part of a wider roads plan for the Bangor area.”