Plans for second entrance to Craigavon Area Hospital
Serious congestion at the major hospital’s only entrance plus the large number of new developments around the hospital has led to protracted negotiations for a second entrance.
Upper Bann MLA Doug Beattie said the issues surrounding the infrastructure around the hospital had come to a point where ‘action needed to take place sooner rather than later’.
He said: “At a meeting with Arnold Hamilton - interim Chief Executive for Department for Infrastructure roads division - the issue around a secondary entrance to the hospital was discussed. This followed an earlier discussion with the Chief Executive of the Southern Health trust.
“It is clear that where the Mandeville Road meets the Lurgan Road at the Kernan roundabout the congestion was extremely serious.
“This was being exacerbated by new builds along this main arterial route into Portadown.
“The solution was to create a back entrance into the hospital on the Lisnisky Road with a major roundabout. This would assist with traffic that wanted to enter the hospital having the option to turn off at the Kernan roundabout where the dual carriage way tapered into just two lanes. There was also plans for a widening of the Lisnisky Lane where it meets the roundabout to allow traffic to filter left stopping traffic from backing up.
“After protracted negotiations between the Southern Health Trust, the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) and developers an agreement is now in place to begin the planning process for the back entrance into the hospital.
“This will be a major roads infrastructure project, maybe not in size, but in outcomes. It should, when complete, ease the congestion and commuter misery many who use this route have to suffer.
“With the increase in the population in the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon area, which stands at 17%, it is important that DfI submit their planning application as soon as possible and councillors and council planners agree the plan to get this project started.
“In the meantime other opportunities to alleviate the congestion in that area around a vital hospital must be explored.
“This includes exploring opening up the inbound roundabout before the Kernan by buying the land off Invest NI to allow a second entrance into the new development being built in that area.”