THERE was has been widespread condemnation for the latest security alert on the M1 motorway.
Motorists heading into Belfast along the motorway faced lengthy delays over an abandoned stolen car.
Police have defended their decision to close the motorway while Army technical officers examined the vehicle.
The alert started around 2 am and the area wasn’t cleared until just after 10.30 am causing mayhem to city bound traffic.
It was the third alert in the same junction in the past week.
On Saturday, a number of football matches in Belfast had to delay their kick-off because of a hoax alert close to the M1.
Local Sinn Fein MP Paul Maskey condemned those behind the alert.
“The people of Northern Ireland have moved on unlike those who bringing misery to motorists and the wider community,” said the west Belfast MP.
“People have moved on but these people are stuck in the past. It is time they moved on too.”
Ulster Unionist Party MLA Michael McGimpsey condemned as “pointless” the recent spate of security alerts which have brought traffic chaos and widespread disruption to Belfast.
Mr McGimpsey said: “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.
“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.”
He added that the PSNI must be given all the resources and support they needed to “bring this campaign to a speedy conclusion”.