Will Stormont funding will deliver Dungiven bypass?

Vincent Gallagher from Main Street in Dungiven in 2012 with dirt filled water which he has cleaned from his windows. (File pic)
Vincent Gallagher from Main Street in Dungiven in 2012 with dirt filled water which he has cleaned from his windows. (File pic)

Dungiven resident Vincent Gallagher is hoping, after more than five decades of talking about a bypass for the town, the infrastructure will be delivered.

The Stormont Executive has pledged more than £250m for work on the road between Derry and Belfast over the next five years.

Authorities are remaining tight-lipped on how exactly the funds will be spent, but Mr Gallagher hopes the Dungiven bypass section will go ahead.

“I would hope after all this time there would be something because the length of the time we’ve been waiting on it has been ridiculous,” said the 74-year-old, who has lived on Main Street since 1968. Mr Gallagher claims his family’s health has been adversely affected by the high levels of traffic.

“The fumes from the lorries are unreal. You can even smell them sitting in the house and you should see the dirt we take off the windows,” he said. “The traffic on the street never stops from the early hours of the morning, from 5am. It has definitely affected my family’ health. We are never without medication for something.

“My daughter is never off medication for chest infections and, without a doubt, it is because of where we are living.”

A DRD spokesperson said the department “is currently considering all the options and the best way to move forward with the available budget on the A5 and A6 schemes.”

“The Department endeavours to move as quickly as possible during the consideration process and will announce possible start dates in due course,” added the spokesperson.

In the meantime, Sinn Féin Councillor Sean McGlinchey has submitted a motion to council asking Causeway Coast & Glens Council to assist in driving forward the Dungiven bypass in any way it can.

The motion will be voted on in January.

“This will be a chance for those who voted against the Dungiven Leisure Centre project to try and redeem themselves as best they can to the people of Dungiven,” he said. “The motion, if passed, ensures that the council will commit todoing what it can to ensure the delivery of the bypass, such as inviting the Regional Development Minister to Dungiven and call on her to publish the findings of the 2012 public inquiry.”