Larne West Distributor (South), Larne

 

Status
Construction scheme (half finished)
Where
To complete a new road link between the northern Larne West Distributor and the main A8 near Millbrook, in west Larne, serving new housing developments around Ballyhampton Road.
Total Length
1.8 km / 1.1 miles
Dates

Proposed in "Larne West Study", DOE - 1992
Included in "Larne Area Plan 2010" - 1998
Work began during or after 2001

Included in Sub-Regional Transportation Plan (SRTP) - 2007
Central portion of road (about 50% of the total) completed - by 2008

Little or no work carried out between 2008 and 2017
Plans to complete link road publicised - Sep 2017

Cost
Unknown - funded by private developer
Photos
See below for links
See Also

General area map of Larne
Larne West Distributor (North) - on this site

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

"Larne West" is a term that has been in use since the early 1990s and refers to the plan to allocate large quantities of land for new housing to the west of the town. Because it was recognised that such large-scale development (111 hectares) would require new road infrastructure, the DOE published the "Larne West Study" in 1992. This study delineated two new distributor roads to traverse the land. The first, in the north, would connect Killyglen Road and Linn Road. The second, in the south, would connect the first distributor to the main A8 at Millbrook via the Old Belfast Road, hitherto a minor local road serving a small number of houses and commercial premises. This page refers to the second of these. The map below shows the two roads, with the northern part in blue and the southern part in red/orange. The developers of the housing would be required to fund and build the roads in their entirety, and once completed to an appropriate standard they would be "adopted" by DFI who would be responsible for maintaining them.


The Larne West Study required the road to built to a particular standard: 7.3m wide with 2m footpaths and 3.5m verges on either side. There were also to be no private accesses directly onto the road. Instead, houses would front onto side roads which would themselves link to the distributor road at regular intervals.

Work on both roads began some time after 2001 (I have been unable to determine exactly when). The Northern Distributor was finally completed in December 2013, but work on this road, the Southern Distributor, proceeded more slowly and as of the time of writing (October 2017) only the central portion and a very short stretch at the north end have been completed. The map above shows the completed stretches in red and the unbuilt sections in orange. As of 2011 even the central portion was divided in two by a concrete barrier impassible to vehicles, though it was fully open by 2016. Construction of the road severed an existing rural road, Ballyhampton Road, which was realigned to form a pair of T-junctions onto the new road and no longer follows its original route. Part of the old Ballyhampton Road has, however, survived as an access to some houses, as can be seen in satellite views.

The economic depression has slowed progress greatly and no further work has been carried out since around 2008. The Google Streetviews below show the temporary termini at the north and south ends of the central section. It is unclear when, or if, the road will be completed to its envisaged length.


Screenshot from Google Streetview showing the view north at the north end of the completed central section of the road, from its junction with Linden Crescent, as it looked in August 2008. [Google Streetview]


Screenshot from Google Streetview showing the view south at the south end of the completed central section of the road, close to its junction with Porter Crescent, as it looked in August 2011. [Google Streetview]

Updates

28 Oct 2017: It looks as if there might finally be some movements towards completing the Larne West distributor road which has sat half complete since the global financial crisis of 2007-08 halted a lot of work, ie for about a decade now. A developer, Nuport Developments, is to submit plans to build new housing developments at Larne West and Cloverbrook along with 86% of the remaining stretch of the road. Another developer, Antrim Construction, is to build the last 14% in conjunction with the partially-completed Porter Green development. A public consultation into the proposals took place in mid September. In a Belfast Telegraph article the developer noted that permission had not yet been granted, but assuming it was granted work on the houses would begin "immediately" and last up to ten years. It's not clear at what point during the "ten years" the road elements would be completed, but at any rate it's all part of a process that should eventually see the road completed as per the map further up the page. The recent upgrade of the A8 to dual-carriageway standard has also helped make Larne a more convenient place for commuters to live. With thanks to John Corr for information on these proposals.