Failure to progress the upgrade of the A2 Buncrana Road is holding up the regeneration of the busy area, Sinn Fein Councillor Tony Hassan has claimed.
Colr. Hassan has called on the newly formed Infrastructure Minister, Chris Hazzard and Transport N.I., to immediately begin the process of improving the arterial route.
It is now 11 years since the proposal to widen the Buncrana Road to four lanes between Pennyburn Roundabout and the border at Bridgend was detailed in the Regional Strategic Transport Network Plan.
Public consultation on the proposed £60m project began in April 2007, with a preferred route announced two years later, but dualling work along the route has never started.
Colr. Hassan said the project must go ahead as it had major implications for the future of Derry: “The regeneration and development of the Fort George site, Pennyburn, Springtown industrial estates and the H2 site will never be fully developed unless the A2 Buncrana road is upgraded.
“Major developers and business people will not invest in the area unless the Buncrana Road is upgraded into four lanes of traffic.
“This a major arterial route connecting Derry with Donegal. The Buncrana Road is not capable of taking the volume of traffic that uses it on a daily basis from the roundabout at Pennyburn to Bridgend.
“The backlog of traffic that occurs on this road is a nightmare for motorists and pedestrians. Now we are being told that Transport NI plan to re-surface the section of road from the Collon lights to the roundabout at the junctions of the Strand and Culmore Roads and the work is to start on Monday June 27 and is expected that it will take approximately eight weeks to complete. This type of patch work will not alleviate the congestion and backlog of traffic on the Buncrana Road. Only a full upgrade will sort the problem on this road.”
He added that the upgrade would help solve problems facing residents at the junctions of the Collon, Templegrove, Woodbrook, and Whitehouse Park areas.