A24 roundabout at The Temple Crossroads


Construction scheme (completed)
McAvoy Construction LLP
To construct a roundabout on the A24 at The Temple crossroads, south of Carryduff, where the B6 crosses it; and create an adjacent 34 space park-and-share facility.
Total Length

Summer 2012 - Roads Service Study proposes this scheme
March 2014 - Work said to begin "within three years", ie by Spring 2017

8 February 2016 - Vesting Order made
11 February 2016 - Tender for construction released
21 April 2016 - Contract awarded to McAvoy Construction LLP

13 June 2016 - Construction began
Construction to last 6 months, hence completion due approx Christmas 2016
9 Jan 2017 - Roundabout declared completed

£1.25m as of Feb 2016 (changed from £1.2m as of Sep 2015; itself changed from £750,000 as of Mar 2014)
See below
See Also

General area map - Google Maps

Click here to jump straight down to updates for this scheme.

Temple Crossroads is a staggered crossroads between Carryduff and Ballynahinch on the main A24. It is the point where the B6 Lisburn to Saintfield Road cross over the A24. Although the A24 here is not congested (traffic levels hover around 10,000 vehicles per day), the real issue is one of safety. Traffic turning on/off the A24 into/out of the side roads create large speed differentials with the potential for accidents. It is also intimidating for pedestrians from the local houses and shops. Local people have been lobbying for improvements for years.

Roads Service revealed the outcome of a "route improvement study" in the summer of 2012. A route improvement study assesses a given route (eg the whole A24) and identifies any measures that could be taken to improve safety or facilitate smooth movements. In this case, a roundabout for The Temple crossroads has been proposed, along with localised widening of the four approaches (thanks to Lisburn Today). The scheme was then sent to a consultant for a feasibility study which will determine whether the proposal can be taken forward. In March 2014 the DRD indicated that the scheme would be progressed to construction. In 2016 it was announced that a 34-space park-and-share facility would be provided adjacent to the roundabout. It went out to tender in February 2016.


The image below shows the junction as it was in August 2015, before work began. Note the commercial properties along the inside of the bend when approaching from the north.


19 Jan 2017: The DFI Minister declared the scheme completed on 9 January, and the roundabout is now in normal use. The photograph below shows the Minister with the completed roundabout behind him. The press release suggests that the roundabout was completed two months ahead of schedule, which mostly fits with the press release at project commencement in June where it anticpated completion in February 2017. A park-and-share facility has also been completed. The press release notes that some landscaping works still need to be done, be done which will take place in the coming weeks. A good job by the contractor, McAvoy Construction.

The Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard (right) with Stephen Pollock, head of Network Development Section of TransportNI, Eastern Division at the completed Temple roundabout on 9 Jan 2017. View looking south. [DFI image]

15 Dec 2016: Work on the roundabout is very close to completion, ie very much on its original schedule. When I passed through a couple of weeks ago it was operating as a proper roundabout, but unfortunately since I was driving I didn't get a chance to take a picture. However I cannot pass up the opportunity to share (below) Google Maps' recently updated satellite image of the area which was taken on 16 August 2016 and gives an excellent overview of the site layout. You can see from this, for example, that the realigned B6 Saintfield Road on the west side is actually returning to its original, historic line. The roundabout is being built primarily for road safety. While some road users are frustrated by the delays the new roundabout adds to journeys, it was nonetheless quite a hazardous junction and the rounabout will undoubtedly prevent crashes and injuries in the years to come.

Google Earth image of A24 Temple Crossroads taken on 16 August 2016 showing the roundabout partially constructed.

11 Sep 2016: This update is to share some pictures that were taken by Martin Young on 23 August. Once again in the busyness of life it's taken me a while to get them up on the site, so just bear in mind that these show the works as they were three weeks ago. You can see that the kerbing for the western side of central island was in place, plus those for the realigned A24 approaching from the south. Work was also well underway on the realigned B6 Saintfield Road to the west of the roundabout, which was still closed at that time. If traffic has not already been switched onto this section of road, I would speculate that it will do so in the near future. Work is expected to be completed around Christmas.

Pic 1: View south west across the A24 at The Temple, 23 Aug 2016, showing the kerbing for the western side of the roundabout in place and the new road taking shape. [Martin Young]

Pic 2: View south along the A24 at The Temple, 23 Aug 2016, with the new roundabout directly behind the camera. The kerbs on the right show the route of the realigned A24 to allow the road to meet the new roundabout at the right angle. [Martin Young]

Pic 3: View north towards the future roundabout, 23 Aug 2016. The existing A24 runs just off frame to the right. [Martin Young]

Pic 4: View west along the B6 Siantfield Road, which is being realigned and was closed to traffic when this picture was taken on 23 Aug 2016. The large area of ground on the right may be the park-and-share site that is to be constructed as part of the scheme, though I have not seen its location confirmed. [Martin Young]

Pic 5: View north along the A24 at The Temple, 23 Aug 2016, from the new roundabout. The ground ahead has been broken up to allow it to be realigned directly towards the photographer. [Martin Young]

Pic 6: Looking north along the eastern side of the A24 at The Temple, ie on the opposite side from where works have focused. This showed clearance works underway on 23 Aug 2016, which is preumably to prepare for work switching to the east side to allow the second half of the roundabout to be completed. The road on the right is part of an even earlier 19th century road, that was bypassed several decades ago when the current road was built. [Martin Young]

7 Aug 2016: Work finally got underway on this roundabout on 13 June, under the contractor McAvoy Construction LLP. Work seems to have initially involved closing the B6 Saintfield Road on the west side of the junction to faciliate local realignments and the construction of the western half of the roundabout. Traffic on the main A24 has been largely unaffected, other than some minor lane alterations and a 40mph speed limit. The DfI press release (linked above) gives the cost as £950,000. This is lower than the £1.25m being quoted in February, so it is possible that the £950k figure refers to construction alone, ie not including planning and land purchase costs. The photos below were taken by Martin Young on 19 July - unfortunately I was not able to update the site during July so just note that these show work as it was about three weeks ago. However, I drove past the site on Saturday 6 August and could see that the kerbing for the western half of the central island is now in place and the future road alignments on this side very apparent. Access to/from the B6 Saintfield Road still seems to be closed. I would speculate that once the western side of the roundabout is completed, traffic will be switched onto it, and work will then resume building the eastern side of the roundabout. A park-and-share site is also to be built on the western side, but since DfI have not published the plans for the roundabout I don't know exactly where. With thanks also to Mark Higgins for information on this.

View south along the A24 at The Temple on 19 July 2016. The B6 Saintfield Road on the right is closed to allow construciton of the western side of the rounabout in the area just beyond the red fences. [Martin Young]

Moving to just beyond the "Road Closed" sign in the previous shot, this is the view south from B6 Saintfield Road with the main A24 on the left. The area ahead used to be part of a field, but you can see that it has been stripped away to form the alignment of the future roundabout. The photographer is on or close to what will be the central island. 19 July 2016. [Martin Young]

Same location as the previous photo, but turning 90° to the right, this is the view west along the B6 Saintfield Road which is currently shut to allow construction work. The line of gravel in the centre of shot may be the route of the future, realigned, Saintfield Road. The red posts are there to warn workers of the presence of overhead cables. 19 July 2016. [Martin Young]

30 May 2016: I drove through The Temple at the weekend (as I am sure many people did) and there was no evidence of any work either underway or even in preparation, despite the contract being awarded almost six weeks ago. I'm not sure why work hasn't get begun, but there are many possible reasons, eg contractural timings, the need for the contractor to have the equipment and manpower available or progress on the Vesting Order that was made in February. Hopefully we will see some action soon.

24 Apr 2016: The construction contract for the new roundabout at Temple Crossroads was awarded to McAvoy Construction LLP on 21 April - congratulations. Construction is likely to get underway soon, though this assumes that the "making" of the Vesting Order in February (see previous update below) has gone smoothly. With construction due to take six months, it should be completed and open to traffic before the end of the year.

24 Feb 2016: The DRD have revealed that they "made" the Vesting Order on 8 February. The Vesting Order is the legal document that compels landowners to sell the land required for a road project to the DRD. The Vesting Order exists in a draft form throughout planning, so that the public can see what land will be taken, but only once there is funding and the scheme is definitely going ahead is it formally activated. This is called "making" the Vesting Order. You can see the Order here. Meanwhile, in the Assembly on Monday the DRD Minister confirmed that construction should begin in the spring and that the total project cost is £1.25m.

11 Feb 2016: The tender for this roundabout has finally been released, having slipped a couple of times from the original estimate of September 2015 given last year. The tendering period is one month, closing on 10 March 2016. The page also gives a total contract period of eight months, which presuambly covers the construciton period and gives the expected cost to be £1.2m. Note that this is the construction cost only, and does not include land purchase or planning costs. I would anticipate that we will see the contract awarded perhaps in the mid to late spring with work getting underway shortly after, and hence the roundabout is likely to be completed before the end of 2016.

9 Dec 2015: In the previous update I said that the DRD was hoping to award the contract in February 2016 but added that "from experience it will likely slip a bit". Well, true to form, the schedule has slipped. The scheme is still sitting in the Future Tenders list with an estimated date of release of "November 2015" which has now been and gone. Meanwhile, a consultation has been opened into the Vesting Order that will be needed to buy the land necessary for this scheme. The consultation opened on 25 November for six weeks, closing 8 January. Interestingly, the consultation includes a map of the land to be vested. While it doesn't show the proposed roundabout, the land being taken does fairly clearly imply where the roundabout will be, ie mostly on the western side of the existing A24 and very slightly south of the western end of Saintfield Road. There isn't really any reason why the scheme could not go out to tender during the consultation, but as yet it does not seem to have. A start date of February now seems unlikely to me - we're probably talking sometime in the spring.

29 Oct 2015: The DRD has published their most recent procurement plan, and it lists this scheme. It gives the construction cost as £1.2m - though note that this may not represent the total project cost, which also includes planning and land acquisition. It states that the contract should be awarded in February 2016 with a total construction period of 6 months. If this schedule remains, then we could see the project completed by August 2016, though from experience it will likely slip a bit.

3 Sep 2015: In my last update 18 months ago (see below) I noted that the Minister had suggested that this scheme was in the minor works programme for construction within three years. I expressed some caution about this, but lo and behold it has now appeared on the DRD's "future tenders" list with an estimated release date of "September 2015" (ie, anytime now). This could mean a contractor being appointed and construction getting underway early in 2016. The same page also lists the cost of the scheme as £1.2m, considerably more than the £750,000 estimated 18 months ago. This cost may not include land acquisition which is usually costed separately from construction. On this basis I have moved the scheme right up the list to "schemes likely to get underway within twelve months".

19 Mar 2014: The Minister gave an update on this scheme in the Assembly yesterday. Back in 2012, it was merely a recommendation from a feasibility study, but it now seems that the scheme may actually be moving into the formal planning stages. He confirmed that the preferred option remains the construction of a roundabout, and that it will cost about £750,000. He said "My Department is continuing to progress this scheme and has recently begun discussions with affected landowners to agree accommodation works.  Progression of the scheme through the various statutory processes, including the vesting order, direction order and tendering process, will also be required.  Subject to the satisfactory completion of each of those stages, I have asked officials to bring the scheme forward as quickly as possible.  I can confirm that it is currently included in my Department’s three-year minor works programme." At face value, this would seem to suggest that construction will get underway within three years, but schemes like this are quite susceptible to delay (eg on the A23 at Moneyreagh where a similar scheme was scuppered by high land costs). The reference to "minor works" is because the cost of this scheme is quite low (under £1.5m), and is therefore progressed and funded differently from "major works" like the A5 or A6 upgrades. I have therefore moved this scheme from the list "proposed but no definite go ahead" to "schemes in planning".

27 Aug 2012: Local politicians were the first to announce that this scheme is a possibility. See this article in the Lisburn Today.