Minister ‘very confident’ bypass will go ahead

Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard.
Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard.

Despite the political uncertainty at Stormont and a fresh election in March, the scheme to build a bypass in Dungiven will go ahead.

That’s according to Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard.

The Minister told the ‘Journal’ this week the scheme, part of the wider A6 project, is one of the Executive’s flagship projects “that will be delivered”.

“Absolutely, it will go ahead, and I’ve had discussions with the finance minister to get that assurance,” he said.

Minster Hazzard remains in office until midnight on polling day.

He said he is “very confident everything will be in line and the scheme will go ahead.”

Mr. Hazzard has told the Assembly the 30km Derry to Dungiven scheme, which includes a 5km bypass of Dungiven, “is well advanced in terms of development.”

The Dungiven Bypass Committee welcomed the Minister’s comments.

“Hopefully, it will be built because it is badly needed.

“Traffic in Dungiven is very bad at the minute,” said a spokesperson.

The Bypass Committee spokesperson added:“There is that worry that the scheme could be stalled due to the political situation. Plans for a Dungiven bypass have been around for at least 50 years.

“We would be concerned about that given the history of the bypass scheme,” said the spokesperson, who referred to research published in the Lancet which suggests people who live near major roads have higher rates of dementia.