South and East Belfast Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Sinn Féin Opposition to Ring Road

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South Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey held a series of meetings with senior Belfast City council officials to lobby them to oppose proposals for a Belfast City Centre Ring Road (which would see the widening of Cromac Street, the widening of the Cromac Street/Ormeau Road junction and the replacing of Ormeau Avenue with 'Bankmore Link').

Speaking about the meetings Alex Maskey MLA said,
" I have held a number of meetings with senior officials in Belfast City Council. At these meetings I highlighted the many concerns which our Party, and many constituents, have in relation to the proposed Ring Road. Already there is significant cross community opposition to this proposal from community workers in the Markets and Donegall Pass.

" I used these meetings as an opportunity to raise the fact that Cromac Street, Ormeau Avenue and the Ormeau Road are probably three of the most polluted roads in Belfast due to the high volume of traffic which flows through them. The reality is that by widening these roads, and creating 'Bankmore Link' they will be increasing the volume of traffic even more, creating an even more polluted environment for the surrounding community. The widening of Cromac Street and the creation of 'Bankmore Link' will also serve to further alienate the surrounding communities from the city.

" Not only this, but at a time when we are trying to find a solution the commuter parking problems in communities like the Markets and Donegall Pass, this proposal is likely to increase the number of cars parking in these areas.

" We are told by the Roads Service that the plans to build a Ring Road are aimed at reducing the volume of traffic in the City Centre. While this is a laudable aim, it cannot be done at the expense of the health of people living in the surrounding communities and at the expense of the environment. In reality, the volume of traffic is not being reduced, it is merely being moved to another area. A reality that does nothing for the local community".

Cllr. Maskey MLA concluded,
" My feeling from these meetings is that there is much common ground between us and I hope that the Council will follow through and actively oppose this Ring Road proposal.

" Sinn Féin believes that this Ring Road plan is an outdated product of NIO mandarins of bygone days. British Direct Rule Ministers are taking the easy option by dusting down out of date plans and trying and force them upon our communities. Instead of pouring public money down the drain with these out of date plans, they would do better to invest in a proper public transport system which would go a long way to alleviating the traffic congestion and pollution problems which are facing Belfast".