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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So the NI executive are going to spent £100 million pounds to bypass of the village of Ballynure on the main road from Belfast to Larne. The scheme will see the A8 upgraded from the Coleman's Corner roundabout near Ballyclare to just outside Larne. It will connect the parts of the A8 that are already dual carriageway.

The road upgrade will cut five minutes from the journey to Larne. The road currently carries more than 17,000 vehicles per day.....

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So what I find difficult to understand is the Northern Ireland Executive claim to have no money for rapid transit schemes in Belfast, no money for the upgrading of our railways (Belfast to Derry line, Enterprise rolling stock etc), upgrading of the A6 to Londonderry, dueling of A57 to the International Airport, railway halts at both the City and International airports. The Executive claim to have NO money for all of these schemes but yet they can afford a £100 million upgrading a road that only has 17,000 vehicles per day. A road which can easily sustain the current traffic levels according to engineers. A road which the residents of Ballynure don't even want themselves.

I accept Larne has a port and the traffic using the road will be port traffic however Stena invested millions in an entire new dock in Belfast, new ferries etc. Would it not make economic sense for the executive to encourage haulage firms and passengers to use Belfast port instead of spending a £100 million to upgrade a road to save journey time to Larne by 5 minutes? It doesn't make sense to me, maybe someone can explain?
 

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No one can explain this. It's just another daft, myopic decision from civil servants who are not qualified to make such decisions.

It's pretty much the same scenario as spending £400m on the A5 to connect link Aughnacloy to a dual carriageway. It doesn't seem to have occurred to many civil servants or politicians that Aughnacloy has less than 1000 residents!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Is there a Government Minister living in the Vicinity??? Thats usually the reason for decisions like this!!
I'm not sure, but the minister that approved the plans is in the Ulster Unionist Party and when you look at the demographics of the area (Larne, Ballynure etc) it is a mainly Unionist area.

Same goes for the A5. Connor Murphy (Sinn Fien) approved the plans for the A5 to be upgraded to dual carriageway from Aughnacloy to Derry. Communities along this route are mainly Nationalist.
 

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No one can explain this. It's just another daft, myopic decision from civil servants who are not qualified to make such decisions.

It's pretty much the same scenario as spending £400m on the A5 to connect link Aughnacloy to a dual carriageway. It doesn't seem to have occurred to many civil servants or politicians that Aughnacloy has less than 1000 residents!
Civil servants don't make the final decision, the minster heading the department does. Secondly, in my experience civil servants are far more qualified and educated than most government ministers, especially here in NI.
 

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I accept Larne has a port and the traffic using the road will be port traffic however Stena invested millions in an entire new dock in Belfast, new ferries etc. Would it not make economic sense for the executive to encourage haulage firms and passengers to use Belfast port instead of spending a £100 million to upgrade a road to save journey time to Larne by 5 minutes? It doesn't make sense to me, maybe someone can explain?
In reality, it will probably save more than 5 minutes per journey. The large amount of lorries on that road means it's one of the slowest main roads in the country. I travel it every now and again, and I have to say, it's one of my least favorite roads!

Although 5 minutes doesn't seem that much.... it really is 10 minutes per round trip saved. A haulage company which has multiple lorries, using the road multiple times a day will soon feel the benefits of an extra 10 minutes per job. It all adds up.

Plus, Encouraging traffic (both passenger and haulage) to use Larne, eases the strain on Belfast docks and roads network. It's also good to have two competing ports in the same general area.

I'm sure there is some political influence behind the decision, although it's not as if it's an unnecessary scheme (unlike the ridiculous and totally politicised A5 Aughnacloy idea!) To be honest, we could do with a major investment in roads for many of our major routes here. The fact that we don't have a proper dual carriageway or motorway between Belfast and Derry or Belfast and the North Coast is pretty shocking.
 

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In reality, it will probably save more than 5 minutes per journey. The large amount of lorries on that road means it's one of the slowest main roads in the country. I travel it every now and again, and I have to say, it's one of my least favorite roads!

Although 5 minutes doesn't seem that much.... it really is 10 minutes per round trip saved. A haulage company which has multiple lorries, using the road multiple times a day will soon feel the benefits of an extra 10 minutes per job. It all adds up.

Plus, Encouraging traffic (both passenger and haulage) to use Larne, eases the strain on Belfast docks and roads network. It's also good to have two competing ports in the same general area.

I'm sure there is some political influence behind the decision, although it's not as if it's an unnecessary scheme (unlike the ridiculous and totally politicised A5 Aughnacloy idea!) To be honest, we could do with a major investment in roads for many of our major routes here. The fact that we don't have a proper dual carriageway or motorway between Belfast and Derry or Belfast and the North Coast is pretty shocking.
Yeah, it always surprised me that the motorway South of Lough Neagh goes as far as Dungannon (I think?) but the routhern route makes little of no headway to Derry.

Likewise, from what I hear the rail line up there is way below standard.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The troubles and direct rule have a huge part to play in why our motorway network is uncompleted. It's why you have a 8 mile motorway around Ballymena which is completely unconnected to any other motorway.
 

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The troubles and direct rule have a huge part to play in why our motorway network is uncompleted. It's why you have a 8 mile motorway around Ballymena which is completely unconnected to any other motorway.


Correct, the motorway plans were shelved after the outbreak of the Troubles, money was diverted to security and so motorways were a luxury that couldn't be afforded. Ministers from London took over administration. They immediately pulled the plug on the entire motorway building plan, leaving this system;
The M1 completed.
The M12, M2 and M22 partly built.
The M3, M4, M5, M7 and M23 not begun.

This is what we would have had;






Images courtesy of Wesley Johnston
 

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The one good thing that resulted from the cancellation of a lot of the motorway plans is that Belfast wasn't scarred with the monstrosity that was the proposed Belfast Urban Motorway-

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I suppose Belfast could have ended up like Birmingham. It's just a shame the motorway to Derry/Londonderry was never completed along with the M11 to the border.
 

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Is it ever a good idea to route motorways though the centre of cities? I appreciate some high capacity roads might be needed for the port, but would it not be preferable to have a ring road like the M50 around Belfast?

I admit I have not been to Belfast, or Northern Ireland at all (even though I'd love to go), but I get the impression that Central Belfast is severed from the rest of the city by motorways and dual carriageways.
 

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The one good thing that resulted from the cancellation of a lot of the motorway plans is that Belfast wasn't scarred with the monstrosity that was the proposed Belfast Urban Motorway-


Oh I agree, was going to add that. The only benefit of the cancelled plans was the cancellation of the plans for Belfast city centre.
 

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I don't think that's the case actually. I think the British government, having to introduce austerity in the early 70's, baulked at the price tag of such largesse for such a small area.
No they were cancelled following the outbreak of violence. Had the Troubles never happened the motorways would have been built, at least the ones to Derry, Newry and Coleraine, Bangor, Carrick and Larne would have been completed
 

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Is it ever a good idea to route motorways though the centre of cities? I appreciate some high capacity roads might be needed for the port, but would it not be preferable to have a ring road like the M50 around Belfast?

I admit I have not been to Belfast, or Northern Ireland at all (even though I'd love to go), but I get the impression that Central Belfast is severed from the rest of the city by motorways and dual carriageways.
I'd say that's partly true- from the motorway plan in belfastuniguy's post, the only section of the motorway ringroad around the city centre that was ever built was the Westlink, linking the M1 to the M2, and even then it was built as a dual carriageway with roundabouts rather than a proper motorway. The westlink certainly cuts off segments of North and West Belfast, particularly due to the canyon type construction of the road.

The river Lagan would cut off the city centre from east Belfast; it hasn't helped that a lot of major proposed projects on the east side of the Lagan haven't materialised due to the financial situation- these projects would certainly have helped integrate that side of Belfast more with the city centre. The new Titanic Quarter certainly suffers from being detached from the city centre thanks to being stuck on the far side of the M3 road bridge, with only one route in from the city centre.

South Belfast, however, would be completely integrated into the city centre- there are certainly no obvious barriers between the residential areas and the city centre, probably helped with the University being located in this area.
 
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