Those behind yet another security alert which disrupted traffic trying to get in and out of Belfast on Monday “will not succeed”, a politician has said.
A security alert closed the M1 in both directions between junctions two, Stockman’s Lane. and six, Lisburn for hours on Monday morning.
The M1 reopened after 10.30am.
At one stage there was a tailback of traffic to Lurgan citybound and Broadway roundabout countrybound.
Earlier on Monday morning the Westlink was also closed but has since reopened.
It is the latest in a series of security alerts over the past week.
SDLP councillor TIm Attwood said the alert may have caused serious traffic disruption but maintained those behind the alert will not win.
“Travelling to and from Belfast has become a nightmare for parents doing the school and child-minding run, like me, and for commuters trying to get to work. It is clear that this traffic chaos is hitting commuters and business hard,” said Mr Attwood.
“However the message is plain, the IRA did not succeed in their bombing campaign and dissidents will not succeed either.
“There are some elements in republicanism and loyalism who think that bomb scares and protests will further their cause. The reality is the overwhelming majority of people are opposed to their activities and want to see a more prosperous and peaceful Belfast.
“The dissidents’ actions should be stopped and loyalists who plan more city centre protests should think again.”
UUP MLA Michael McGimpsey said the alerts were “pointless” and will not achieve whatever objectives those responsible claim to have.
“There is a great deal of anger and frustration amongst the wider community at the recent disruption caused by hoax bomb alerts, especially in the vicinity of Finaghy and Stockman’s Lane in south Belfast,” said Mr McGimpsey.
“If this is the work of some brand of republicans, then I have to say to them that attacking the local community at Finaghy and stopping the Belfast to Dublin train is unlikely to achieve any objective, let alone a military victory paving the way to a united Ireland. It is simply pointless and absurd.
“What it will do is inconvenience thousands of commuters trying to get to work, and add to the burden of traders in south Belfast – especially the Lisburn Road - and of course the city centre.
“If this is the start of a campaign in the run-up to Christmas it is quite simply the last thing that anyone needs. Jobs depend on business activity and society needs to think very carefully how we counter this. The people behind this have nothing of value to offer anyone in this society. They are engaged in economic sabotage and must be stopped.
“The Police must be given all the resources and support they require in order to bring this campaign to a speedy conclusion.”