Council pledges support for A2 but cautions over access issues

The busy Buncrana Road.
The busy Buncrana Road.

Derry City & Strabane District Council will write to the Department of Infrastructure pledging support for the Buncrana Road dualling project, which the authority deems critical to the city’s development in the decades to come.

However, the Council will insist the A2 upgrade does not act as a barrier to the communities that straddle the roadway from Pennyburn Roundabout to the border.

Members of DC&SDC’s Environment & Regeneration Committee approved a letter of response to DfI after Council was asked to provide its views on an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Scoping Report.

“The Council is very supportive of this proposal for the improvement of the A2 Buncrana Road, as a major infrastructure upgrade which will bring wide-ranging benefits for the city and region,” the response states.

“Specifically, it will bring economic and ‘quality-of-life’ benefits, improving accessibility, travel times and unlocking the development potential of several major sites in the vicinity such as Fort George, the Arntz site and H2.

“Moreover, the City and District will increasingly function on a regional basis and this A2 Buncrana Road will be our main crossborder gateway so its functioning and appearance are critical,” it adds.

The Council’s response does not identify any significant environmental concerns but does caution over the potential impact on the people who live along the road.

“It is...important that the A2 Buncrana Road is carefully designed so that it does not become an actual or perceived barrier to non-vehicular movement, either south to north - to features such as Templemore, St Columbs College, the church at Pennyburn or Whitehouse local centre, or north to south – from the NW sector towards employment/retail areas and the city centre.”

It goes on: “There are a significant number of residential properties and businesses which may be impacted by proposed access arrangements proposed by the design of the new scheme.”