Work to start on footpath - six months late

Margaret McCreedy with her sons Joshua and Matthew with Kellen and Lowell Finlay on the stretch of the Jordanstown Road where a new footpath is to be built. INNT 34-013-FP
Margaret McCreedy with her sons Joshua and Matthew with Kellen and Lowell Finlay on the stretch of the Jordanstown Road where a new footpath is to be built. INNT 34-013-FP

Work is scheduled to begin on a new footpath on the Jordanstown Road six months after the Roads Service said the construction was set to start.

In January the roads minister Danny Kennedy announced that £60,000 had been set aside for the work building the footpath between Lynda Avenue and the Jordanstown train station which was to start at the beginning of February.

Residents in the area have campaigned for the footpath for two decades.

Last year Jordanstown mother Margaret McCreedy organised “walking trains” for children between Lynda Avenue and the nearby Whiteabbey Primary School to highlight the need for the footpath to stop children having to needlessly cross the busy road twice.

However, despite the Roads Service announcing the work would begin in February and there would be traffic disruption for two months, no work took place other than a number of trees being cut down.

Last week a Jordanstown resident contacted the Times complaining that the work had not been done and would “obviously” not be ready in time for the new school year.

The Times contacted the Roads Service to ask why the work had not taken place.

The Roads Service responded announcing the work would start on Monday, August 19 and traffic disruption would last until “late in September”.

A spokeswoman for the Roads Service said “contractual and technical difficulties” had held up the project and she apologises for the delay.

Roads Minister Danny Kennedy said: “This scheme will provide a much needed link to the existing footway. Residents and visitors and will quickly realise the benefit including the safer and more accessible footway to Jordanstown Railway Halt.”

Margaret McCreedy, who has campaigned for the path told the Times: “It’s just a relief that something is finally being done - we hope.

“It’s not just me that’s campaigned but others in Jordanstown have been trying to get this footpath built for the past 20 years.

“It was disappointing that the work was never carried out and obviously now it’s going to impact on traffic when the schools all get back.

“I think people would have been happier had it taken place during the summer holidays, but hopefully it will be worth it in the end.”

A Roads Service spokeswoman added: “Roads Service apologies for the delay in starting this scheme which has been due to contractual and technical difficulties.

“The scheme is expected to be completed late in September and while the road will remain open, traffic restrictions will be necessary with temporary lights in operation from 9.30am to 4.30pm.

“Traffic management arrangements have been arranged to minimise any inconvenience to road users and vehicle and pedestrian access will be maintained to all properties on the Jordanstown Road.

“Road users are advised to expect some delays and should allow additional travel time when planning journeys using Jordanstown Road.

“As with all works of this nature the planned dates are subject to favourable weather conditions and Roads Service will keep the public informed of any changes.

“For current information about roads and traffic across Northern Ireland visit www.trafficwatchni.gov.uk.”