Call to tackle congestion issue

Dolores Kelly, MLA, pictured in Francis St, Lurgan, where there is a traffic problem with cars and heavy lorries using the street as a route to the M1 Motorway in order to avoid the railway crossing in William St. She claims the problem will get worse when school starts in September with the St Ronan's College expanding to accomodate pupils from the old St Michael's site. INLM34-212.
Dolores Kelly, MLA, pictured in Francis St, Lurgan, where there is a traffic problem with cars and heavy lorries using the street as a route to the M1 Motorway in order to avoid the railway crossing in William St. She claims the problem will get worse when school starts in September with the St Ronan's College expanding to accomodate pupils from the old St Michael's site. INLM34-212.

While the completion of Millennium Way has been described as a ‘great job’ there’s now some work to be done on addressing problems of traffic congestion around the town.

That was the message from SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly, who said: “My office is inundated with complaints about traffic congestion and heavy goods vehicles using shortcuts to access the motorway.”

Mrs Kelly said: “following the successful completion of the Millennium Way there is an urgent need for infrastructure development to finish the job. Additional traffic including HGVs are emerging via the Millennium Way onto Edward Street and then face three pressure points, two of which are constrained turning, or access points at the roundabout, or nib at the top of Edward Street then having to swing left onto William Street via Church Place often using the right hand lane (for North Street) because of a lack of turning space.

“The consequence of this and the long history of congestion is traffic delays caused by the railway crossing on William Street and drivers using Francis Street as a short cut to the M1.

“This in turn is causing further congestion on an already overcrowded street which will be further restricted when the schools reopen in September.

Thus, I am calling on the Department to develop an infrastructure solution to this problem.

“In the absence of an Executive in the Assembly I and my colleagues will be meeting the Southern Divisional Manager Mr Simon Richardson.”

A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said: “DfI Roads can confirm that the traffic management arrangements at both the Edward Street/Millennium Way ‎junction and the Edward Street/Church Place/William Street junction were not altered as part of the recently completed Millennium Way extension.

“M1 bound traffic travelling along Millennium Way towards Edward Street is directed towards Francis Street and Kiln Road for access to the M1, and M1 bound traffic using Market Street in the town is directed along Church Place and William Street for access to the M1.

“The Department considers both William Street and Francis Street to be suitable routes to the M1 junction at Lough Road and as such has signed both routes accordingly. The Department has no plans for additional infrastructure measures to link the town to the M1 at this time.

“As is normal after the introduction of significant road improvements like the Millennium Way extension, traffic movement in Lurgan will be monitored to identify any issues whilst road users become accustomed to the new Infrastructure.”