ROAD improvements are set to take place at the scene of several vehicle collisions in recent years.

THE Department for Infrastructure has launched a procurement competition for a road safety improvement scheme at McKinstry Road at The Cutts.

A detailed design of the scheme has now been completed which will introduce fully controlled right turn movements within the signal phasing. Extensive road widening will be required on the Derriaghy Road side of McKinstry Road to provide the additional splitter islands required to facilitate the new layout.

The improvement scheme will also include widened shared use footways as well as staggered and wider pedestrian crossings, enhancing links to the Glider route and local school.

The road safety improvement scheme comes after public concern over a number of collisions at the busy junction in recent years.

Sinn Féin Lisburn North councillor Paul Burke welcomed the announcement.

"It is fantastic news that DFI have launched a procurement competition for road safety at the dangerous juncture between The Cutts/McKinstry Road and Derriaghy Road," he said. "Sinn Féin has consistently highlighted the associated risks to motorists and pedestrians at this junction with the Department for Infrastructure and this news is very welcome.

"I am acutely aware of the public concern on road safety with residents raising these issues on a daily occurrence."

SDLP councillor Pat Catney said: “Following a number of accidents in this area I began pushing the department to install traffic lights and other safety measures at this junction during my time in the Assembly.

"I was successful in getting approval for this project and am glad that we are seeing some progress with the department seeking a contractor to carry out this vital work.

“I know how strongly the local community feels about having these safety measures put in place, given the number of incidents we have seen and will seek to keep them updated until this work is carried out. Alongside colleagues I will be meeting with the department in the coming days for a briefing on the next steps."