THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: Ulster Minister’s plan for dual twin-roads

From the News Letter, June 7, 1956

Monday, 7th June 2021, 10:49 am
Roadworks on the M2 motorway in August 2009. Picture: Brian Little/News Letter archives
Roadworks on the M2 motorway in August 2009. Picture: Brian Little/News Letter archives

Lord Glentoran, Minister of Commerce, had announced, in the Ulster House of Commons the previous day, that the government proposed that the construction of dual two-lane carriageways should be extended to a greater distance from Belfast than the present terminal of the three Belfast approach roads.

Speaking during the debate on the Appropriation Bill, he said that the government proposed to extend the outer terminus of the east approach road to a point in the vicinity of Cultra, and to authorise the construction of dual two-lane carriageways from Ballyrobert on the Belfast-Bangor road in the direction of Bangor.

This was greeted by “Hear, hear” from Dr Nixon, the Unionist MP for North Down.

The government, the minister went on, also proposed to construct a new dual two-lane carriageway road from the point on the trunk road to Larne which was the present terminus of the north approach to follow generally the line of the present second-class road B29, but bypassing the village of Doagh and and the town of Ballyclare to the westward, and the town of Antrim on the eastward, and joining the Larne-Ballymena road near the Borough of Ballymena.

Thirdly, they [the NI government] would extend the present terminus of the south approach road near Burnhouse on the Lisburn-Lurgan trunk road to a point near Moira to connect with a new trunk road of some 14 miles in length to be built with dual two-lane carriageways by the Armagh County Council, bypassing the Boroughs of Lurgan and Portadown. It was proposed that, with the co-operation of the Armagh and Tyrone County Councils, that form of construction would extend also to a point near Dungannon.

Fourthly, they would construct, as an additional approach road to Belfast, a short section of road from a point in the city to a point on the trunk road to Carryduff.

The minister remarked of this latter proposal: “That proposal must be regarded as provisional for the present as the work might not prove to be feasible.”

Lord Glentoran said: “The House will appreciate that it will be some years before these projects can be fully completed, but some work to the improved standard will be carried out within measurable time on the projected road to Dungannon and on the Bangor road.”

He added: “It is, however, necessary to decide now about the nature of the work so that as they opportunity arises to undertake some part of it the sectional schemes can be designed to conform to a general plan of development.”