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Park roundabout idea insists Blair

By Kieran Hughes

Plans to build a new park and ride facility in Glengormley near one of the busiest roundabout in the North could lead to traffic chaos, a local councillor has said.

Newtownabbey Alliance councillor John Blair said he is “totally opposed” to plans by the Roads Service to bring a park and ride facility to the Ballyhenry Road near Sandyknowes roundabout.

Plans to build the facility were first put forward in 2003 and were met with opposition from local residents and councillors concerned at increased traffic congestion and the potential for the facility to attract anti-social elements at night.

Last week Divisional Roads Manager John Irvine confirmed that Roads Service is keen to move ahead with the 92-space scheme.

But John Blair said the proposal is a “nonsense proposal”.

“The proposal is for 90 spaces which will have a minimal impact on the traffic on the M2 going into Belfast and that, together with the proximity to residential area, makes it a nonsense proposal,” he said.

“It will be a car park that will be busiest at peak times next to what is one of the busiest roundabouts in the country.

“There could also be a situation were people drive to the car park to find it full and they will then park in the nearby residential areas. I also have concerns about the facility leading to anti-social behaviour at nighttimes, with it being used as a gathering point.”

Planning Service are currently considering the application and are awaiting the results of an updated traffic impact assessment.

A spokesperson for the Roads Service said, “Roads Service is currently updating the transport assessment for application and will shortly re-submit this to Planning Service. The transport assessment will provide information and mitigation on any traffic impacts associated with the development. As with other park and ride sites in Belfast, if the proposal goes ahead, security will be provided and the site will be locked at night.‬

“The granting of Planning Permission is a matter for Planning Service. Roads Service cannot proceed unless Planning Permission is granted.”


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