PRESSING FOR ACTION

Traffic queues at Church Place and Edward Street. INLM2211-140gc
Traffic queues at Church Place and Edward Street. INLM2211-140gc
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A CAMPAIGN to have Millennium Way extended stepped up a gear this week.

A delegation from Lurgan Forward had what was described as a “very positive” meeting with Department for Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy.

Traffic queues at the railway gates in William Street. INLM2211-142gc

Traffic queues at the railway gates in William Street. INLM2211-142gc

At issue was the traffic congestion which is said to be stifling the town’s economy.

Top of the agenda was the proposal to extend Millennium Way to Gilford Road on one side and William Street on the other to create a bypass for the town centre.

Such a bypass, campaigners say, will help to alleviate congestion in the town centre and consequently encourage shoppers into the town.

It was also argued making better use of Millennium Way would help to fill the empty business units along the road.

They also say less traffic in the town centre will allow the public realm works to reach their full potential - with the central plaza currently of little more use than a traffic island.

It was pointed out the plan to extend Millennium Way long predates its existence, indeed the minister was shown a letter to former MP Harold McCusker sent in May 1976 which said the road would be finished by March 1981.

A spokesman for Lurgan Forward said; “Millennium Way is strategically important for the development of the town and in light of the public realm works would allow much better use of the town centre as a shopping destination.”

Also very much on the agenda was the railway crossing at William Street which has often been seen as effectively severing the town’s link to the motorway.

A proposal was put forward to look at changing how long the gates are closed - with drivers often frustrated facing closed gates with no sign of a train passing.

Tuesday’s meeting with the minister was facilitated by local MLA Sam Gardiner who said: “I was happy to offer my services to Lurgan Forward to meet with the minister on issues of such vital importance to the town.”

A spokesman for Lurgan Forward said: “It was a very positive meeting, while there is nothing hard and fast the William Street situation is to be reviewed. We are very happy with what we’ve achieved.”