M22 junction closure would ‘exacerbate’ traffic congestion

Councillors have voiced concerns over the closure of the A6 junction onto the M22 at Randalstown.  Picture: Google Earth

Councillors have voiced concerns over the closure of the A6 junction onto the M22 at Randalstown. Picture: Google Earth

Concerns have been expressed over the closure of the junction at the A6 onto the M22 at Randalstown when work begins on the new dualling system to Toome.

Local councillors raised the issue over the closure of the junction at Monday night’s monthly meeting of Antrim and Newtownabbey Council, and sought clarification over whether the closure would be permanent.

In welcoming news that the long-awaited scheme would get underway later this year, Councillor Trevor Beatty highlighted concerns about the closure of the junction.

Cllr. Beatty described it as a “major junction” with a lot of traffic using it as alternative route into Randalstown, and also a back way via the Staffordstown Road to Toome.

He voiced concerns the impact of the junction closure would have on traffic through the town.

“Between 5pm and 6pm, the Castle Road is quite often backed up to the roundabout [at Ballygroobey],” Cllr. Beatty said.

He added: “The closure of that junction is going to exacerbate the situation quite considerably.”

Cllr. Beatty said it was not clear if the junction closure would be permanent and asked if that could be clarified with Transport NI.

“I welcome the start of the work as the M22 is a disaster are at the best of times at evenings and mornings,” Cllr. Beatty said.

He added: “My issue is with the closure of that junction.”

Similar sentiments were shared by Councillor Brian Duffin, who said the junction closure would cause “quite an upset”.

He added: “It has very serious implications.”

And Councillor Henry Cushinan highlighted that by closing the junction it would put “pressure” on other minor roads in the area that would not be able to cope with the additional traffic.

It was agreed to arrange a meeting with Transport NI to discuss the concerns raised.