Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has affirmed his commitment to delivering the A5 and A6 road improvement projects.
Speaking at today’s NI Chamber of Commerce Minister on the Move event in Derry, Minister Hazzard said he was determined to deliver infrastructure projects to connect people and address the infrastructure deficit west of the Bann.
Minister Hazzard said:
“The Executive’s Programme for Government is focussed on outcomes – outcomes that will create a prosperous economic future that will deliver for all our people. The sustainability and growth of our economy means having in place infrastructure that meets the needs of our people and our economy. Put simply the economy here in the North, and indeed across the whole island cannot grow if the infrastructure is not in place to support it.
“Improving transport connections is vital. The Executive has already made clear that flagship projects including the A5 and A6 are key to building connectivity and unlocking economic potential.
“Today I want to assure you that I am committed to deliver on these hugely significant projects that will finally address the historical infrastructure deficit west of the Bann.
“The A6 route between Derry and Belfast connects our two biggest cities. This is a vital link in making the north an attractive place for those choosing to live, visit, work or invest. I am determined to drive this project forward and complete the scheme to Drumahoe in this mandate, so we can maximise our offering and develop the economic potential across the region.”
“Construction of the first phase of the A5 Western Transport Corridor, from Newbuildings to north of Strabane, is due to begin in 2017 subject to the successful completion of the statutory procedures. However, I am currently looking at how funding could be increased to expedite delivery of the A5 scheme.”
Concluding Minister Hazzard said:
“As we look ahead and prepare for future generations, we need to be innovative and creative in our thinking. Next week I will be visiting a major transport conference in Rotterdam to see what lessons can be learned and what opportunities we can maximise.
“The draft Programme for Government sets out a plan to build a better future for all. As an Executive, we are committed to working in partnership with wider society to make the biggest impact for all our people and I would encourage everyone to play a part and share their views during the consultation period.”
Notes to editors:
- The A5 Western Transport Corridor will provide around 80 metres of new dual carriageway between Newbuildings and Ballygawley. Subject to the successful completion of the statutory procedures, construction of the first phase of the A5, the Newbuildings to north of Strabane section, could commence in 2017 with an estimated completion date of 2019.
- In relation to the A6, currently two separate projects on this route are progressing: Randalstown to Castledawson and Derry to Dungiven schemes. The 14 kilometre Randalstown to Castledawson scheme will see the construction of a dual carriageway link from the M22 Motorway in the east to the Castledawson roundabout in the west. The A6 Derry to Dungiven scheme is also well advanced in terms of development. It is likely that construction of the first phase of this scheme, which will include a bypass of Dungiven, will commence in 2019.
- In addition to these Executive flagship schemes, the Department for Infrastructure is progressing a number of other high priority projects including:
- Narrow Water Bridge
- the new Derry railway station
- the upgrade of the Coleraine to Derry railway line
- the A4 Enniskillen Southern Bypass
- the Ballynahinch Bypass
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