Department for Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy has met with Ballyclare traders to discuss concerns over traffic congestion in the town centre.
The traders also expressed concern over disruption to trade caused by the closure of the Station Road in Doagh.
South Antrim MLA Danny Kinahan thanked the traders for meet the minister in the run-up to Christmas.
Mr. Kinahan said: “There were robust exchanges as the need for the bypass to be treated as a strategic road was made very clear, with traffic management in the town being absolutely vital in the immediate future.
“Suggestions of lights, enforcement, one-way systems, improved parking and even completely new roads and bridges were discussed.
“The minister, the department and myself have promised to look at all possible solutions along with the means to pay for them.
“Minister Kennedy also agreed to update the department’s data on traffic flow by conducting a traffic survey to reflect current trends.
“I have drafted a petition which is available in the Ballyclare Ulster Unionist Office which calls for the Ballyclare Relief Road Scheme to be formally designated as a Strategic Priority.
“I would urge all who use the centre of Ballyclare to make it their priority to sign up.
The minister’s officials gave assurances that work was “progressing as quickly as possible” and there was “general agreement” that public safety had to remain “paramount”.
They insisted that there was “no alternative”.
President of Ballyclare Chamber of Trade Alison Thompson thanked the minister and his team on hehalf of the traders for taking their concerns seriously.