Woodtown junction ‘needs a roundabout’ - O’Loan

The Woodtown Road/Cullybackey Road junction. (Pic courtesy of Google Earth).
The Woodtown Road/Cullybackey Road junction. (Pic courtesy of Google Earth).

Plans to improve one of Ballymena’s busiest road junctions with a staggered layout will do little to solve peak-time traffic problems, a councillor says.

Local SDLP Councillor Declan O’Loan has suggested the B62 Cullybackey Road/Woodtown Road junction might be better served by a roundabout.

Announcing the £450,000 improvement scheme back in August, Transport Minister Danny Kennedy described it as “a significant investment in the infrastructure of Ballymena and the mid Antrim area” which would “enhance safety at the junction and will deliver benefits for all road users.”

The Department for Regional Development Minister revealed that 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.

However, commenting on the scheme, which was first mooted in the predecessor Ballymena Borough Council back in 1981, Councillor O’Loan said: “The junction at Cullybackey Road/Woodtown Road is merely to be an improved staggered junction with right turning areas, and not a roundabout as previously indicated.

“The scheme is imminent at a cost of over £400K. Transport NI have told me that a roundabout would cost three-quarters of a million.

“I’m not convinced that the staggered junction will do anything to solve the delays at peak hours.

“I wonder if it wouldn’t be better to push for the roundabout,” Councillor O’Loan stated.