A6 upgrade pledge ‘great news’

Derry’s business leaders have hailed the Transport Minister’s commitment to the Derry to Dungiven upgrade as “great news”.

Minister Conor Murphy has told the ‘Journal’ that he remains committed to beginning construction on the A6 Dungiven to Derry dual carriageway before 2015 despite no money being allocated for the build in the draft four year budget. He said that “additional monies” were being identified from “efficiencies, savings and revenue raising” to help fund the prioritised project, particularly the Dungiven bypass section.

Sinead McLaughlin, Chief Executive of the local Chamber of Commerce, said: “This is great news. This Chamber has consistently lobbied direct rule and devolved government ministers for over 40 years for the upgrade of the A6.

“Just two weeks ago, the Chamber called for the necessary improvements to the A6 to be brought forward into the coming Budget period. The Chamber is absolutely delighted that this has now been announced by Conor Murphy regarding the Dungiven by-pass.”

Ms McLaughlin said the route was “the most important” transport link for businesses in Derry. “Improving journey times on this route will produce enormous benefits for commerce here and assists Northern Ireland as a whole to become more competitive and less burdened by transport delays. A more comprehensive upgrade of the A6 remains absolutely vital for businesses and citizens from Derry and the region.” Ms McLaughlin highlighted the “desperate need” for the upgrade of the Castledawson/Toome section. She added: “With a comprehensive upgrade of the A6, businesses and citizens will also be given a much faster route to Dublin, given the excellent road connections that now exist between Ireland’s two capital cities.