Grit boxes and traffic calming were among the main topics of discussion when councillors met with Roads Service bosses at Mossley Mill on Monday night (November 25).
Presenting the Eastern Division Autumn Roads Report, Divisional Roads Manager, Kevin Monaghan gave members a brief update on the ongoing A2 and A8 dual carriageway projects, and highlighted a number of resurfacing schemes, pedestrian safety measures, junction improvements and street lighting upgrades carried out across the borough. He also detailed a number of proposed minor works to improve roads and footpaths, and updated members on ongoing maintenance programmes.
Mr Monaghan, who was accompanied by Section Engineer Colin Campbell, touched on the more than 4.4km of carriageway resurfacing carried out this year, and ongoing footway resurfacing schemes in New Mossley.
Following Mr Monaghan’s presentation, councillors took the opportunity to raise concerns about road problems and street lighting issues around the borough.
One of the recurring themes was the need for more grit boxes to be provided in residential areas.
Several members urged Roads Service to be “more flexible” in terms of its criteria for providing grit boxes - a plea to which Mr Monaghan responded positively. Specific requests were made for grit boxes to be provided in Ollardale, Ballyclare; Victoria Bridge, Monkstown and Ballyfore Gardens, Ballyduff.
“The residents are willing to come out themselves and do the work, so we should be looking favourably on it,” said Cllr Robert Hill.
Road safety was another hot topic, with several councillors urging Mr Monaghan and his engineers to look at the possibility of installing further traffic calming schemes.
Members welcomed the completion of the long-awaited traffic calming project in Ballyeaston village, but there were calls for similar measures in several other locations across the borough, including Straid, Ballyrobert, Ballynure, Burnside and Glenville Road.
Responding, Mr Monaghan said that given current funding levels, it was unlikely that the department would be moving on any new traffic calming schemes during the current financial year.
Following the recent fatal road traffic collision at the Monkstown Road/Doagh Road junction, Alderman Billy DeCourcy and Cllr Victor Robinson both urged Roads Service to look at the junction to see if safety can be improved.
Mr Monaghan said that they are awaiting the outcome of the police investigation into the crash, but agreed to look at the issue if any specific problems are highlighted.
The need for repairs to existing street lights, or additional lighting in some locations, was also raised by members.
Mr Monaghan and Mr Campbell were asked to look at street lighting problems in several areas, including Sandyknowes roundabout, Bawnmore Drive, Ballyeaston Road, Carnmoney Road and Bernice Road in Mallusk.
Speaking ahead of Monday’s meeting, Transport Minister Danny Kennedy welcomed Roads Service’s progress on more than £3million of road improvement and maintenance schemes in the Newtownabbey area this year, particularly the £205,000 carriageway resurface improvement scheme at Antrim Road/Sandyknowes roundabout.