Safety Improvement Vital For A1 Says Alliance

Alliance Representatives Push for A1 Safety Improvements

Alliance MLA Patrick Brown has raised the need for A1 Safety improvements with the Minister for Infrastructure.

The MLA questioned the Minister in the chamber at the NI Assembly last week during question time to ask the Minister if his officials will seek funding from the Shared Island Initiative toward the A1 Junctions Phase 2 Upgrade.

Patrick Brown also made a member’s statement in the chamber where he paid tribute to Monica Heaney who set up the campaign group A1: How Many Must Die following the death of her son in 2018.

He said that Monica has been tirelessly lobbying the Minister and the Department to fund safety upgrades of the carriageway. 

Alongside his colleague, Councillor Joy Ferguson (Banbridge DEA), who has been actively campaigning for the safety of the road, Patrick Brown also met with Monica last week to discuss the imperative need to fund the upgrades of the road.

Brown said: “The A1 has posed safety concerns for a prolonged period and it is ridiculous that upgrades have been postponed for this long.

On the A1 are Patrick Brown MLA with Monica Heaney, road safety campaigner, and Cllr Joy Ferguson (Banbridge DEA) calling for road improvements from the DfI.

“I have made this a top priority heading into the Assembly as the Alliance party Infrastructure spokesperson, and I was pleased to get the opportunity to question the Minister in the Chamber.

“The Minister indicated that his department is exploring several funding avenues.

“The A1 simply cannot face any more delays and I will continue to outline the urgency of funding the A1 upgrade to the Minister .’

Campaigner Monica Heaney said: “With the return of Ministers and decision making at the Assembly, I will be personally asking the Minister for Infrastructure to urgently fund Phase 2 and deliver the resources and budget needed to complete safety improvements on this treacherous road.

“I want to save lives on the A1 and prevent other families from experiencing grief due to road collisions.

“Further delays are unacceptable. Safety on an existing major road should be top of the infrastructure agenda in Northern Ireland.’

Councillor Joy Ferguson added ‘I would urge the Minister to allocate budget and respect the needs and wishes of the public and campaigners like Monica Heaney, who have fought tirelessly to see this much-needed change.

“Even though the business case is at an advanced stage, budget remains the determining factor.

“It is the availability of funding that will finally progress this scheme.”