THERE are growing calls for an environmental scheme to improve the quality of life for residents in Bawnmore.

Speaking after a recent visit, North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly said: “It was good to meet with officials here in the Bawnmore area today to discuss environmental schemes that would improve the quality of life for residents living near the busy M2 Motorway.

“Intertoll contractors  who are responsible for the maintenance of the motorway on behalf of the Department for Infrastructure joined us on a site visit in the area and we had a useful and constructive conversation.

“The obvious schemes that could be introduced and expanded upon include a enhanced tree planting initiative which would have a significant impact for the residents' quality of life.

“While on site we also raised the poor state of repair of safety railings designed to prevent children gaining access to the embankment at the busy M2.”

Sinn Féin councillor for the area Taylor McGrann added: "This is the start of a process of ensuring we do all we can to reduce the harm to residents' health from the M2.

“Of course these are initial discussions and what is vital is the inclusion and contribution from the residents themselves.

‘While today was a good positive meeting we will be following up by surveying residents in the days ahead.

“We need more trees in the city anyway and there is a clear logic to planting trees which would both shield the community from the M2 but also improve the air quality.

“I look forward to progressing this initiative along with local people, my colleagues and officials.”