TransportNI outlines plans for M1 and M2 to become smart motorways
The proposals have been outlined in a study commissioned by the roads authority and, according to BBC News, could cost between £60 and £70m if adopted as estimated by consultants.
In response, the Freight Transport Association (FTA) has said that the plans would make economic, environmental and safety sense.
Seamus Leheny – FTA policy & membership relations manager – Northern Ireland, commented: “The major routes around Belfast suffer from recurrent traffic congestion at peak times. Using hard shoulders on the M1 and M2 in and out of Belfast, especially at peak hours – must be given serious consideration. Smart Motorway use increases capacity during rush-hours which would mean improved journey time reliability into Belfast City Centre and the Harbour, and would result in lower emissions and fewer accidents.”
The TransportNI study also looked at restricting use of the Hard Shoulders to Buses, Multiple Occupancy Vehicles and Freight traffic, which would also be feasible, and a significant benefit for improving freight movements in the Greater Belfast while also improving public transport.