£35 million Magherafelt bypass opens

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard with Conor Loughery, Transport NI Divisional Manager, Francie Molloy (MP), and Chair of Mid Ulster Council Trevor Wilson. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.
Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard with Conor Loughery, Transport NI Divisional Manager, Francie Molloy (MP), and Chair of Mid Ulster Council Trevor Wilson. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye.

A £35m road scheme that will take 7,000 cars a day out of a busy County Derry town has opened weeks ahead of schedule.

The A31 Magherafelt bypass was officially opened by Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard.

The four-mile route loops round the town, carrying traffic from the west towards the main roads for Derry and Belfast.

That traffic previously had to pass through Magherafelt, often with lengthy delays.

Opening the bypass on Thursday, Mr Hazzard said it would ease congestion in the town by as many as 50,000 vehicles a week.

The minister added: “In addition to reducing congestion, the bypass will help improve road safety and reduce journey times.”