Previous A6 improvements
During the latter part of World War II considerable thought was given to post-war planning. The inner portion of the present M1 and M2 motorways were foreshadowed in an Interim report – ‘Planning Proposals for the Belfast Area’, published in 1945. A further report 'Road Communications in Northern Ireland', published in 1946 advocated the early construction of a motorway between Belfast and Portadown, the bypassing of about twenty towns and the improvement at Government expense of the main ‘arterial’ routes in the province.
This evolved into the 1960’s Proposed Strategic Road Network which envisaged a motorway to Coleraine and Londonderry and reconstruction of the remainder of the trunk road system. Londonderry County Council carried out a large programme of roadworks from 1950 onwards including reconstruction of the A6 Londonderry to Castledawson road to a high standard single carriageway. Lack of finance stopped construction of a single carriageway Dungiven bypass. September 1966 and September 1968 Tour brochures of Londonderry County Council road schemes chronicle works completed, under construction and in planning. A later map chronicles works completed up to 1989 in the then Roads Service Coleraine Division.
- A6 Londonderry to Dungiven – tour brochure (September 1966)
- A6 Londonderry to Dungiven – tour brochure (September 1968)
- A6 Londonderry to Dungiven – Coleraine Division roadworks up to 1989
- A6 Londonderry to Dungiven – 1970s single carriageway Dungiven bypass
Current A6 improvements
Regional Strategic Transport Network Transport Plan 2015 (RSTNTP 2015)
Published in 2005, the RSTNTP 2015 included proposals for a single carriageway bypass of Dungiven and to improve overtaking opportunities on the A6. A subsequent examination of three potential route corridors concluded that a single carriageway bypass of Dungiven should follow a corridor south of Dungiven and North of the River Roe. Overtaking opportunities were constructed east and west of Burntollet Bridge and east of Ballyhanedin Road.
Investment Strategy for Northern Ireland (ISNI)
Launched in November 2005, ISNI set a new, comprehensive approach to be used by government to make informed decisions as to the investment priorities for Northern Ireland for the ten year period 2005 to 2015. The ISNI confirmed that implementation of the Regional Transportation Strategy was already bringing considerable investment in the roads network across Northern Ireland. To achieve the aspirations of the economic vision for Northern Ireland required an even more forward looking approach, to ensure the key infrastructure was in place, so that Northern Ireland would be prepared for inward investment. ISNI confirmed plans to commence additional investment that would result in higher standard roads providing improved access for commercial traffic, buses and private cars, mainly on the key transport corridors connecting Northern Ireland’s major cities, including key cross borders routes. This would be the start of what could become a £1bn investment on the strategic network which would allow additional major road improvement schemes over and above those in the RSTNTP. The first of the schemes to benefit from the funding was the 30km dual carriageway from Londonderry to Dungiven, including a dual carriageway bypass of Dungiven.
A6 Londonderry Castledawson
DfI Roads had already examined strategies for the future improvement of the A6 between Londonderry and the Castledawson roundabout. Ten corridors were examined – seven lying to the north of the existing road, two lying south of the existing road and one loosely following the line of the existing road.
This examination recommended that any improvement should follow a corridor loosely based around the line of the existing road between Castledawson roundabout and Drumahoe, except at Dungiven where a bypass south of the town was recommended, and a cross country corridor between Drumahoe and the Caw roundabout north east of Londonderry.
It also recommended that the western section of the route including the Dungiven bypass should be taken forward at an early stage to provide improved overtaking opportunities for strategic traffic and to allow consideration of bypasses for some of the communities along the route.
Updated 14 August 2015