Concern over village traffic

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Calls have been made to build a ring road around Moira, given the traffic issues in the village.

Lagan Valley MP Jeffrey Donaldson made the comments after a female pedestrian, Winifred Heather Hutchinson from Portadown, died after she was knocked down while crossing the main street earlier this month.

He said that he had already planned to meet with the DRD in the coming weeks, again calling for a ring road around the village.

There has been a long running campaign for a new junction on the M1 which has been viewed as the most realistic means of solving worsening traffic congestion in Moira.

The Roads Service has so far resisted pleas to fund a bypass despite the long tailbacks Moira experiences every day onto the M1 slip road and also similarly to Magheralin.

Toome is one example of gridlock which was solved after a ring road was built but local politicians are mystified as to why a similar scheme for Moira remains on the long finger.

Earlier this year residents complained that officials need to sort out the ongoing traffic problems in the town before permission can be granted for any more homes.

Recently they complained about plans for 228 homes at the old Moy Park factory, on the Clarehill Road/Meeting Street.

One resident explained that Moira has 13,070 vehicles going through it daily as well as 600 heavy good vehicles and he said that he feared that if the 228 new homes were given the go ahead it would give the village at the very least a further 1,000 vehicles a day, extensive development of Magheralin and its adjoining area could well add a further 3/5,000 vehicles a day.

Speaking about the accident, Mr Donaldson said: “This death is an absolute tragedy and again highlights the need for a ring road in the village.

“Moira can be very congested with traffic.

“I do not know the circumstances around the accident - the amount of traffic in the village may not have been a contributing factor, I don’t know - but we are meeting again and highlighting this real issue which needs to be addressed.”

He said that a more radical solution needs to be found.

“My fear in the near future is that should more houses be built as part of the Belfast Metropolitan Plan it will also mean more traffic going through the village of Moira with no solid plans for a relief road,” he said.

“In light of this tragedy it is absolutely necessary that the DRD should look again at easing traffic to make it safer for pedestrians and motorists.”