Page last updated at 05:26 GMT, Tuesday, 30 September 2008 06:26 UK

Plans to ease traffic bottleneck

Traffic congestion - generic
The road can be very congested at rush hour

The government has approved plans for a new dual carriageway on one of Greater Belfast area's worst bottlenecks.

It will be on the A2 Shore Road from the University of Ulster at Jordanstown to Seapark, Carrickfergus.

The road carries 36,000 vehicles a day and the work is expected to be completed by 2013, Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy said.

Twelve houses and a commercial unit will be demolished to make room for the new route.

Better footpaths and a cycle lane are included in the plans.

The decision to move forward follows a public inquiry into the proposals.

Mr Murphy said the scheme would affect a significant number of people.

"I believe that it strikes the right balance between the benefits to the wider public and effects on landowners," he said.

"The proposal has been thoroughly evaluated and I am satisfied that it provides the best overall solution to this longstanding problem."

East Antrim DUP assembly member Alastair Ross said it was "good news for commuters".

"The upgrade was certainly helped by the positive responses from the public inquiry which showed support for the major works scheme to proceed," he said.

The 2.4 km section of the current A2 Shore Road at Greenisland has only two lanes, causing significant congestion and long delays at peak times.

The new road will mean the demolition of 12 houses and a commercial unit. Agricultural land will be used and land will be taken from about 68 gardens.

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