Buncrana Road traders call for amended plans

Sinn F�in MP Elisha McCallion and councillor Sandra Duffy with David Barbour of Whitehouse Business Park and Glyn Roberts from Retail NI.
Sinn F�in MP Elisha McCallion and councillor Sandra Duffy with David Barbour of Whitehouse Business Park and Glyn Roberts from Retail NI.

Traders in the north west have called for changes to the £60m Buncrana Road widening scheme plans to ensure customers retain full access to businesses along the route.

Retail NI, which represents independent traders across the North, met with traders and Foyle Sinn Fein MP Elisha McCallion in the city this week.

Representatives also met with the Chief Executive of Derry’s Chamber of Commerce, Sinead McLaughlin, and City Centre Initiative Chief Executive, Jim Roddy.

Following the meetings, Retail NI have now urged the Department for Infrastructure to ensure that its members on the Buncrana Road will continue to have unimpeded access as part of its plans for the 2.6 miles dual carriageway from Pennyburn to the border at Bridgend.

Retail NI CEO, Glyn Roberts, said: “Retail NI recognises the strategic importance of the new proposed Buncrana Road dual carriageway to the future economic growth of Derry as a whole.

“We want to see modest changes to the plans to ensure that our members who trade on the road will have full access for the shoppers visiting their stores.

“Our planning team is looking at this and will be submitting some ideas to the Department for Infrastructure in the coming weeks.”

Sinn Fein Foyle MP Elisha McCallion said the meeting had been “very productive.”

“We listened intently to the concerns expressed by the businesses and reassured them that Sinn Féin is committed to ensuring that this project works for everyone and is future proofed to fit with the potential development of the area surrounding it,” she said.

Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy also pledged her party’s support to help address the issues raised.

It was also confirmed yesterday that independent retailer, David Barbour, will be joining the Retail NI Board to represent Derry. Mr Roberts said he was “delighted” with the appointment. “David will have an important voice in the work we do in standing up for local retailers,” he said.

Retail have also restated their “full support” for a City Deal for Derry & Strabane, and backed Derry City Centre becoming a Business Improvement District. “This could be a significant game changer,” Mr Roberts added.