Work to begin on A1 road safety scheme at Hillsborough
WORK is due to begin on removing a first section of crossing points along a notoriously dangerous stretch of the Belfast to Dublin road.
A central safety barrier will be erected between Hillsborough roundabout and the junction at Dromore Road, Hillsborough, which will see the permanent closure of all crossing points along the stretch.
It is part of a £230,000 road safety improvement scheme on the A1 dual carriageway, which is used by around 40,000 every day. The plan is to close all the gaps in the central reservation between Sprucefield and Loughbrickland and this is the first element of the plan.
Announcing the scheme, Infrastructure minister Chris Hazzard said: "This significant investment of £230,000 will greatly improve road safety along this extremely busy stretch of the A1.
"The installation of the central safety barrier is welcome news for the 40,000 drivers who use the road each day. This is the first in a number of incremental improvements which may be progressed in advance of the delivery of the full A1 Junctions Phase 2 scheme.
"The works, when complete, will deliver benefits for all road users for many years to come".
Work is due to begin on February 6 and is expected to take six weeks to complete.
Seamus Leheny from the Freight Transport Association (FTA) last night welcomed the news.
"FTA has been pressing the government to make these long overdue safety improvements that will permanently close crossing points along this stretch of the A1," he said.
"We hope the department for infrastructure will eventually close all crossings on the entire dual carriageway due to the constant risk of slow moving vehicles crossing the carriageway.
"The road is used by 40,000 vehicles a day including a high number of HGVs and FTA members have repeatedly made us aware of the dangers."