Councillors’ concern over Oriel Road traffic congestion

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CONCERNS have been raised over the impact of new housing developments on the Oriel Road in Antrim on traffic congestion in the area.

Local councillors last week raised concerns that the area had become “over developed” and had resulted in increased pressures on the road network.

At Thursday’s Public Services Committee, members also called on Roads Service to carry out a traffic impact survey in the area.

The discussion came about as councillors discussed Planning Service’s approval for a new dwelling on the Oriel Road.

Planning officer Johanne McKendry said that there had been two objection letters to the proposal.

She added that Roads Services had had no objections.

Alderman Drew Ritchie - a member of Antrim Road Safety Committee - said that while he had no objections to the plan before council, he had concerns over the increase of traffic in the area, saying it had become “busier and busier”.

“I’m concerned the infrastructure can’t cope,” Ald. Ritchie said.

He added: “I would ask for a road survey to be carried out as soon as possible.”

Similar sentiments were shared by fellow UUP Councillor Adrian Watson, who voiced his “discomfort” over the issue.

He added he also had concerns over the increase on traffic flow.

Alderman Sam Dunlop said that as a result of cars being parked on the footpath it led to problems for buses travelling to the nearby Antrim Bus and Railway Station.

“With people parking on the footpath, buses going up and down can’t pass each other,” Ald. Dunlop said.

He added that this was particularly worse during the school run period in the morning and afternoon.

Referring to the application before council, Ald. Dunlop said he had no issue with the particular development but said Roads Service needed to look at the traffic congestion in the area.

“They need to look at this area again; it’s chock-a-block,” Ald. Dunlop said.

He added: “Enough’s enough, the road cannot take any more new developments.”

Accepting the approval, Councillor Henry Cushinan, who was chairing the meeting, said he wanted “councillors’ reservations over the over development of the area” to be noted.

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