Woodtown work ‘best judged at school run time’

The new road re-alignment on Cullybackey Road/Woodtown Road
The new road re-alignment on Cullybackey Road/Woodtown Road

Major safety works at a notorious junction on the outskirts of Ballymena are virtually complete - but the jury is still out on whether the new layout will be a success.

For years, the Woodtown Road crossing on the Cullybackey Road was branded a blackspot with numerous crashes and even more near misses.

After calls for action from council and local politicians, a £450,000 scheme to improve safety at the junction commenced earlier this year after funding was received from the then Regional Development Minister, Danny Kennedy.

He said at the time: “This is a significant investment in the infrastructure of Ballymena and the mid Antrim area. The improvements will involve realignment of the Woodtown Road to give greater separation between the junctions, improvements to sightlines and provision of right turn lanes. This investment will enhance safety at the junction and will deliver benefits for all road users.”

However, others felt that the provion of a roundabout at the site would have been a better option.

SDLP Councillor Declan O’Loan was firmly of the opinion that the realignment proposal was far from ideal.

And now, with work on the junction reaching its conclusion, local motorists have expressed mixed views on the scheme.

While comments have been mostly favourable, concerns have been voiced about the speed of some vehicles in the vicinity but the key factor in judging the success or otherwise of the scheme will be the advent of ‘school run’ traffic in September.