Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has today visited Fermanagh and Omagh in a series of engagements and reaffirmed her commitment to the Enniskillen Southern bypass.
The Minister met with representatives of Fermanagh & Omagh District Council, as part of the Mid-South West (MSW) region group of Councils, at the Council’s Headquarters in Omagh and discussed a number of strategic issues linked to the MSW Growth Deal including progress on the bypass.
The decision to proceed with the Enniskillen Southern bypass was announced on 11 May this year with the estimated cost of the scheme ranging from £25M-£30M. The scheme will help to significantly alleviate traffic congestion in Enniskillen town centre, reducing delays, improving average journey times by approximately 50% and improving road safety.
The Minister also visited Arvalee Special school and Christ the King Primary School in Omagh where part-time 20mph signs are installed at both schools. In addition, the Minister visited the recently completed £200,000 active travel scheme on the Old Mountfield Road. The works included approximately 500 metres of new shared use cycleway/footway, a controlled crossing close to Omagh Leisure Centre and carriageway resurfacing.
Concluding the day’s engagements, Minister Mallon visited Waterways Ireland headquarters in Enniskillen and met with CEO John McDonagh. The Minister saw first-hand the ambitious plan by Waterways Ireland to develop a sustainable waterway network which will contribute significantly to the recreation, social, economic and environmental life across the island. The Minister was also briefed on a range of key projects including the 10 year Strategy and Waterways Ireland’s draft Climate Action Plan, currently undergoing public consultation.
Speaking during the visits Minister Mallon said:
“I was delighted to be back in Fermanagh and Omagh today. I have reaffirmed my clear commitment to the Enniskillen Southern bypass to Fermanagh & Omagh District Council representatives. I am also keen to help transform Enniskillen town centre by improving air quality, reducing noise pollution and enhancing active travel opportunities for locals and visitors alike. In line with that commitment my officials are currently drawing up a commission to examine how the bypass can unlock sustainable and active travel measures in the town centre. I am very aware this scheme is of significant importance to Enniskillen and I have made clear my commitment to the Council that making road improvements is crucial to tackling regional imbalance, improving the economy and connecting communities and improving road safety. At Waterways Ireland I was briefed on their Climate Action Plan. Climate change is something that affects all of us and Waterways Ireland, through its Climate Action Plan, is putting climate action at the heart of its decision making going forward. And I also had the privilege of visiting Arvalee Special School and Christ the King Primary School and meeting with pupils and staff and witnessing the positive impact that the installation, by my Department, of part-time 20mph signs has had on increasing road safety outside both schools.”
Notes to editors:
- Photo caption - Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon, at a meeting at Fermanagh & Omagh District Council (FODC) headquarters in Omagh, is pictured with: (from L-R) Chief Executive, FODC, Alison McCullagh; Chair, Mid South West (MSW) Region Governance Steering Group, Cllr Paul McLean; Chair FODC & MSW Governance Steering Group member, Cllr Errol Thompson; MSW Region Governance Steering Group member, Cllr Mary Garrity and Vice Chair, MSW Governance Steer Group, Cllr Barry McElduff.
- The MSW Region consists of three councils – Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon; Fermanagh and Omagh; and Mid Ulster.
- Delivery of the Enniskillen Southern bypass is subject to availability of funding and it is anticipated it will take approximately 3-4 years to procure and construct the bypass. It will also serve to enhance the town centre environment by improving air quality and noise levels and will provide the opportunity to introduce active travel measures.
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