§ Lord Kilclooney
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What proposals they have to reduce traffic congestion in East Newtownards; what is the timetable for the Ards/Down area plan; and what expenditure is committed to future road schemes in the Newtownards district. [HL1137]
§ The Lord President of the Council (Baroness Amos)
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 Kilclooney.
You recently asked Her Majesty's Government what proposals they have to reduce traffic congestion in East Newtownards; what is the timetable for the Ards/Down area plan; and what expenditure is committed to future road schemes in the Newtownards district [HL1137].
The Draft Ards and Down Area Plan 2015 was published by the Department of the Environment's planning service in December 2002. It contains a number of road proposals for the east of Newtownards. Examples of these include the provision of a road linkage from the A20 Portaferry Road, at its junction of the Old Shore Road, to the Bowtown Road and a developer-led road connecting Bowtown Road to Donaghadee Road via Movilla Road. The roads service is also presently developing proposals for a further major works scheme at Frederick Street and statutory procedures have commenced on the proposed link from Portaferry Road to Scrabo Road via Comber Road, which will be largely funded by the private sector. All of these schemes, which are expected to cost in the order of £5 million, have been designed to facilitate existing traffic as well as additional traffic generated by land use proposals in the Draft Ards and Down Plan and are expected to impact favourably on traffic congestion currently experienced in Newtownards.
It is anticipated that work will commence within the next two to three years depending on the satisfactory outcome of statutory procedures, the successful acquisition of necessary land, and the availability of funding at the relevant time.
The planning service advises that a public inquiry to discuss objections received following publication of the Draft Ards and Down Area Plan, is programmed to start on Tuesday 3 May 2005 and is expected to continue for several months.
I trust this is helpful.