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Roads: Belfast

Volume 688: debated on Wednesday 17 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to introduce traffic-calming measures on the connecting roads between the Belmont and the Upper Newtownards roads in Belfast. [HL1144]

The chief executive of Roads Service (Dr Malcolm McKibbin) has been asked to write to the noble Lord in response to this question.

Letter from Dr Malcolm McKibbin to Lord Laird dated January 2007.

You recently asked Her Majesty's Government a Parliamentary Question about what plans they have to introduce traffic-calming measures on the connecting roads between the Belmont and Upper Newtownards road in Belfast. As this issue falls within my responsibility as chief executive of Roads Service, I have been asked to reply.

I can advise that in recent years Roads Service has carried out assessments on the following roads, which run between Belmont Road and Upper Newtownards Road, to help determine the need to introduce traffic-calming measures: Wandsworth Road; Earlswood Road; Belmont Church Road; and Ormiston Crescent.

At Wandsworth Road, the assessment produced a score sufficient to warrant the inclusion of a scheme in the 2004-05 traffic-calming programme of works. However, Roads Service received a petition, representing a significant number of residents of the road, objecting to the proposed measures. Given the level of opposition, it was considered unlikely that the legislative process could be completed without recourse to a public inquiry, which, as you will appreciate, would require considerable input from Roads Service staff and would compromise the ability to deliver traffic-calming schemes in other areas. In these circumstances, it was decided to target our limited resources for this type of work to sites where the greatest benefits could be achieved in terms of the successful implementation of a traffic-calming scheme.

In Earlswood Road and Belmont Church Road, scores from assessments were sufficient to merit the inclusion of schemes in the current traffic-calming programme of works and I am informed that initial residents' consultation has been completed and the legislative process has commenced. However, I understand that a number of objections to the proposals have been received and that these are currently being addressed.

An initial assessment of Ormiston Crescent has indicated that a traffic-calming scheme at this location would not be highly placed compared with other sites on the traffic-calming programme and other sites waiting to be treated. While Roads Service has no plans to construct traffic-calming measures at this site at present, it will continue to be considered for possible inclusion in future programmes.