A consultant has now been appointed to develop a dualling scheme along the entire length of the Buncrana Road, it has been confirmed.
The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) outlined the latest developments while responding to Derry Sinn Féin Councillor Tony Hassan’s call for the Buncrana Road upgrade to be prioritised.
Colr. Hassan was speaking after Transport N.I confirmed they were considering bringing the remaining single lane part of the Skeoge Link Road into a four lane carriageway or a four lane upgrade.
He said: “While I welcome any new road infrastructure in our city, and mind you we have been neglected in the North West for many long years, it has to be put in the right perspective.
“Firstly, the road between the Ballyarnett Roundabout and Glenabbey roundabout is not a priority at the moment. Does it need a four lane carriageway? The answer is yes. It needs a four lane carriageway, but the main road infrastructure that should be the priority today for Transport N.I, is the Buncrana Road.
“It is the main road corridor into Donegal and would see the regeneration and development of that part of the city. We need to unlock the key in the regeneration in that area of the city in the next five to 10 years.”
A DfI spokesman said: “Consultants have been appointed and are assisting DfI Roads to re-examine and further develop a scheme to upgrade the A2 Buncrana Road from Pennyburn Roundabout and Co Donegal.
“This scheme seeks to provide a four lane carriageway in the urban section between Strand Road to Elagh Business Park, with dual carriageway to the border with Donegal. It is anticipated that the Draft Statutory Orders could be published in 2019 which is likely to lead to a public inquiry.
“Subsequent delivery of the scheme will be dependent on satisfactory completion of the statutory processes and the availability of funds from future budget settlements.”
The spokesman added that DfI “acknowledges the longer term benefit that the provision of a four lane carriageway between Skeoge Link and the Ballyarnett roundabout would realise.” As such, he added, DfI is currently developing a scheme to upgrade Ballyarnett roundabout, with the works being “primarily funded through developer contributions in recognition of the impact their proposed developments will have on the adjacent road network.”.
He added: “The upgrade of the section of carriageway between Skeoge link and Ballyarnett, previously referred to as Madams Bank Road Stage 2, will similarly be dependent on receipt of sufficient developer contributions.”