York Street Interchange needs to be made a priority

The Infrastructure Minister needs to make the York Street Interchange a priority, Alliance Infrastructure spokesperson Kellie Armstrong MLA has said.

The Strangford MLA was speaking as Chris Hazzard confirmed he would accept the outcomes of the public inquiry around the multi-million-pound project, meaning it would get the go ahead for preparatory work, despite question marks remaining over its funding. The £130 million scheme would create a direct link between the Westlink, M2 and M3.

However, Ms Armstrong said it was disappointing the Minister was ranking roads projects according to geographical location.

“Belfast was recently found to be the third most congested city in the UK, with the York Street junction seeing an estimated 100,000 vehicles a day. But the Minister has decided instead to prioritise projects such as the A5 and A6.

“While it is important to invest in areas outside of Belfast, we need to approach situations such as these realistically. The York Street junction sees more people stuck in traffic each day than passes through many towns seeing investment in an entire week.

“In light of this news, it is also concerning the Minister plans to extend the motorway the entire way from Lisburn to Belfast. This has the potential to create an even worse bottleneck along the Westlink and York Street unless this interchange is progressed.

“It is clear the Minister is prioritising his and his party’s infrastructure objectives instead of what is in the greater good for Northern Ireland.”

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