Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has accepted the outcomes of the Public Inquiry for the A24 Ballynahinch Bypass scheme and has confirmed the scheme will now progress in readiness of funding becoming available.
A public inquiry was held in January 2016 into the proposed scheme and the Inspector reported his findings to the Department in March 2016. Following an examination of the issues raised, the Minister has accepted the Report's recommendations and has confirmed the scheme should progress, subject to refinements to reflect the Inspector’s recommendations.
Minister Hazzard said:
“I am delighted to announce this key step in the development of the Ballynahinch Bypass which is seeking to address the traffic delays at this bottleneck along the A24, which are familiar to those who travel along this strategic route everyday and to the Ballynahinch community. Progressing a scheme of this scale represents significant investment for the area. The provision of the bypass will improve journey time reliability and road safety for motorists, including freight transport.
“I am personally familiar with the difficulties faced by strategic and local motorists travelling the A24 route and welcome the positive outcome from the Inquiry. Consultation will now begin with key stakeholders and in particular landowners affected by the scheme with a view to minimising the related impacts.
The Department will now publish the formal 'Environmental Statement : Notice to Proceed' and the making of the Direction Order for the scheme.
Notes to editors:
1. The Inspector appointed to the inquiry concluded that having considered all of the submissions, objections and undertakings entered into by the Department/TransportNI to accommodate objectors, the proposal for the A24 Ballynahinch Bypass should proceed.
2. The Department will now publish the formal Notice of its Intention to Proceed and make the Direction Order for the scheme.The associated Vesting Order will remain in Draft until finance becomes available to build the road.
3. The Departmental Statement, Inspector’s report and associated documents are available for viewing at the Department’s website. A link to the site is attached below.
4. The scheme is expected to cost in the region of £35 million.
5. The Direction Order designates that length of new and upgraded road that will become trunk road.
6. All media queries should be directed to the Department for Infrastructure Press Office on 028 9054 0007 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Out of office hours please contact the duty press officer via pager number 07623 974 383 and your call will be returned.
7. See photos from the Department for Infrastructure in our Flickr collection: https://www.flickr.com/photos/niexecutive/collections/72157669044006236/
8. Follow the Department on Twitter @deptinfra
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