Concerns over delay to hospital entrance plan

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The Department of Infrastructure has been criticized for delaying the release of plans to create a second entrance to Craigavon Area Hospital.

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie MC accused the department of “dragging their heels” in relation to moving plans forward.

He said: “Yet again we find ourselves going in circles as departments drag their heels when making decisions regarding much needed road adaptations although this office has raised the issue on multiple occasions.

“Traffic at Craigavon Area Hospital has been an ongoing issue for many years, and has been raised on numerous occasions as traffic continues to build up, especially during rush hour.

“The Department for Infrastructure confirmed in January 2018 plans for a second entrance to the hospital were being discussed yet no plans have as of yet been released.

“Now that work is well under way within the new housing developments situated less than a mile away, I am concerned these developments are going to be finished before any plans are released to help alleviate traffic congestion within the area.”

Mr Beattie added: “The Lurgan and Kernan Roads are the two main routes leading to the hospital, they are constantly used by emergency service vehicles and heavy traffic could cause major issues for these vehicles to access the hospital.

“The Department for Infrastructure need to make adaptations to the surrounding hospital roads a priority and move to provide a second entrance to Craigavon Area Hospital before these housing developments are complete.”

A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said: “As advised in January this year the Department has no plans for any additional engineering measures at Craigavon Area Hospital at this time but is continuing to work closely with developers and the health trust with a view to upgrading Lisnisky Lane to provide a second access to Craigavon Area Hospital.

“The Department has committed significant time and resources in assisting key stakeholders to achieve an outcome that is beneficial to road users in this area.”