I own a small transport company in Ballyclare and have lived in the Ballyclare area all of my life (62 years).
For the last 44 years I have been using the A8 from Corr’s Corner to Larne.
Back in the 70s and 80s there was more of a need for a dual carriageway when the three major haulage companies (Montgomery Transport, Woodsides and Dukes Transport) were all mostly shipping out of Larne. The last ten years or so have seen changes in the haulage industry, with most of the shipping going from Belfast, Warrenpoint and Dublin.
When the project started on the A8 I put an article in your paper complaining that Transport Minister Danny Kennedy would have been better spending the A8 money on a bypass around Ballyclare. The cost for the A8 at that time was said to be £95million, but I see the overall cost now has risen to £130million.
However, I must commend the design engineers on an excellent feat of engineering. The safety aspect with no right turns off the carriageway makes it more like a motorway and will make it safer for local traffic joining or exiting the carriageway.
Regarding the proposed Ballyclare bypass: Last week I was driving back from Athlone in county West Meath and passed through about four major towns that had all been bypassed.
I just remarked that the expense had been kept to a minimum, i.e. there were no footpaths, no street lighting, no kerbs - just a functional bypass. Maybe our Ministers at Stormont would give this some thought.
John Allen, Ballyclare (via email)