North Down DUP MLA Gordon Dunne at the recently damaged bridge at the Ballysallagh Road.


North Down DUP MLA Gordon Dunne has called on all of the stakeholders to get an urgent solution to this problem once and for all and has expressed his frustration that the Bridge on the Ballysallagh Road has been hit yet again causing such disruption for so many. Mr Dunne added:

‘It is vital that this situation with the bridge is sorted out once and for all following this latest hit. I have been working with Transport NI for some time to improve warning signage on the approach roads to this bridge as I believe the current warnings around the bridge are inadequate. Despite much correspondence with TNI on this they believe the current signage to be adequate regardless of the fact that this bridge has been hit quite a number of times in recent years. This most recent hit has certainly caused considerable damage to the bridge on the Bangor side of it. I have been pressing for urgent action between Transport NI and the owners of the bridge to get urgent work started and get this key section of road re-opened as soon as possible. Measures also need to be taken to ensure this does not happen again given the widespread disruption this closure has on so many. The evidence is there, given the considerable amount of times even in recent years this bridge has been hit that something needs to change to stop recurrence.

It is very frustrating that this Bridge has been hit once again, which brings about such considerable disruption for thousands of motorists every day who rely on this route for their daily commute to and from work, it also has an adverse impact upon our emergency services who previously would have used this route particularly for the Ulster Hospital at Dundonald. The road closure also brings real disruption to a number of local businesses in close proximity to the Bridge including the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel and Blackwood Golf Club. This closure only adds to the already significant volume of daily traffic on the A2 Dual  Carriageway and causes problems for many, particularly as this links to the Craigantlet Crossroads which connects with Newtownards, Bangor, Holywood and Dundonald.

 

I along with a local business operator recently suggested a height warning system which would have stopped unsuitable large vehicles from attempting to travel under this bridge. I have again contacted the TNI Divisional Manager calling for urgent action to be taken with new measures to stop recurrence of this problem. New measures which I believe are needed is more warning signage around the bridge with yellow and black signage around the arch of the bridge which can be seen in other low bridges across Northern Ireland including the low level railway bridge in Lisburn and new lighting around the bridge to ensure all drivers are aware of the height of the bridge. I am continuing to liaise regularly with all stakeholders including Transport NI, the owners, local businesses such as the Clandeboye Lodge Hotel and the Chief Executive of Ards & North Down Borough Council who is keen to see a resolution to this issue.’








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