A date has been set for a Public Enquiry into proposed improvements on the notorious A1 dual carriageway. The Department for Infrastructure decided to launch an enquiry after their public consultation in June 2019.

The enquiry will begin 11 March 2020 at 10am in the Belmont Hotel, Banbridge.

The A1 Public Enquiry begins in March. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/
The A1 Public Enquiry begins in March. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/

The aim of the A1 Junctions Phase 2 Strategic Road Improvement Scheme is to include the provision of new grade seperated junctions, close up all gaps in the central reservation and provide a continuous central reserve safety barrier along the whole route.

The road has been the scene of many fatal collisions over the years

A DFI representative said "During the consultation there were more than 100 responses received and while the majority were in support of the scheme, a number of objections from landowners and others were also submitted.  The Department was unable to resolve the issues raised and subsequently concluded a Public Inquiry was needed to enable the scheme to progress to the next stage."

Welcoming the inquiry, the new Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon added "I am very aware how important the A1 improvements are for the many people who have expressed their support, especially those who have lost loved ones.  While my department must of course complete all of the necessary statutory processes, I want particularly to reassure those families who have long awaited these improvements that we are keen to progress to the next stage as quickly as possible." 

The Inspector for the Inquiry has arranged for a pre-inquiry meeting starting at 7.00 pm on 6 February 2020 in the Belmont House Hotel.

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