Time for action on A1 to ‘save lives’

BANBRIDGE-based MLA Diane Dodds has appealed to the new Infrastructure Minister to take urgent action to upgrade the A1 to “save lives”.
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Voicing her frustration at the lack of progress, to date, the DUP Assembly member told the Chronicle: “Over the past number of years we, in this community, are all too aware of the impact that a sub-standard A1 has had.

“The road is extremely dangerous for users and, tragically, lives have been lost.

“Previous Ministers have made commitments to move forward on the A1 Junctions phase 2 Road Improvement Scheme but, to date, no works have been started.

Diane Dodds MLA at the A1.Diane Dodds MLA at the A1.
Diane Dodds MLA at the A1.

“Dither and delay are no longer an option - in the summer of 2021 the statutory orders were put in place for the scheme.

“Two years on, I would hope that the internal process has been completed and there are no further impediments in place.

“The Minister has the power to deliver for the people of this area and the thousands of people who use the road every day.

“I urge Minister O’Dowd, as I did back in 2021, to take urgent action on the A1; it must be a priority for him moving forward.

Diane Dodds MLA at the A1.Diane Dodds MLA at the A1.
Diane Dodds MLA at the A1.

“To not take action poses real dangers to the users of the A1.

“The Minister must set a date for works to begin and put an immediate end to what can only be described as a form of Russian roulette for the users of the A1.

“Over the next number of weeks I will be using every opportunity to stress the need and significance of delivery on this important issue.”

Last month, A1 road safety campaigner Monica Heaney delivered a public petition of 12,700 signatures to the Department for Infrastructure, calling for urgent safety upgrades to the A1 dual carriageway.

Her son, Karl, died in a collision at the Halfway Road junction in May 2018.

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