THE completion of Millennium Way in Lurgan was top of the agenda at a recent meeting with the Roads Minister.
Craigavon Mayor, Councillor Carla Lockhart arranged the meeting with Danny Kennedy and his Private Assistant Secretary, Mrs Joanne Dobson, to reiterate their call for multi-million pounds improvements to be completed at Millennium Way.
They also discussed long-standing infrastructure issues in the wider Craigavon area. Also in attendance was Mr David Simpson MP.
Mayor Lockhart and Mr Simpson said afterwards: “This was a robust meeting with Minister Danny Kennedy and his officials. They were lobbied on key strategic infrastructure issues that have for too long been avoided by the Department.
“The completion of Millennium Way, Lurgan was first up on the agenda. The point was clearly made again to Minister Kennedy the need for action on this matter which has been promised to the people of Lurgan for well over 40 years.
“This stretch of road will take a meagre £7 million pounds from within the roads budget. Minister Kennedy clearly indicated his desire to see the completion of Millennium Way having been lobbied by traders, Lurgan Junior High School and elected representatives.
“He did give a commitment that he would raise it at the Executive table again and that preparatory work would continue on this road scheme to have it brought to a stage of readiness should money be made available.
“We also called for the Minister to take action in terms of the provision of bus stations within both Lurgan and Portadown town centre to alleviate traffic and free up much needed car parking spaces.
“Car parking charges for both town centres was also high on the agenda. We called on him to radically re-think the implementation of these charges and again to consider a proposal brought forward by the traders such as the first hour free - a simple decision which would have huge economic benefits for our town centres which are quite frankly struggling for survival. We did, however, ask his officials to work with Craigavon Borough Council to see if a local solution could be brought forward by both departments.
“We believe it is time Craigavon infrastructure improvements was firmly on Mr Kennedy and Mrs Dobson’s agenda. We encouraged them to use their place of influence at the Executive table to bring about favourable solutions to these issues and the many others that were raised. Within Craigavon there is great potential for business growth and prosperity however, it is of utmost importance that the roads infrastructure is improved and enhanced to help attract new investors and help those already committed to the area expand further.”