Fears of ‘horrendous’ traffic problems

SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan.
SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan.

There are fears of “horrendous” traffic problems developing in Ballykelly unless a bypass is built.

SDLP Colr. Gerry Mullan believes if the scheme doesn’t proceed there will be “horrendous” traffic problems once the new headquarters for the Department of Agriculture is up and running in the village.

Colr. Mullan was speaking following a presentation from Transport NI officials at a Causeway Coast & Glens Borough Council meeting on Tuesday.

Officials told councillors “there is no provision in the 2011-2015 NI budget for construction of the scheme”, and said “spending beyond the current budget period on schemes such as the Ballykelly Bypass will be dependent on funding being made available through future budget settlements.”

Colr. Mullan said he was “very concerned” given some 800 employees are expected to be working from the new headquarters located at the former army barracks site in the centre of the village.

“I foresee horrendous traffic problems; a very dangerous situation in terms of traffic in the mornings and evenings,” said Colr. Mullan.

The preferred route for the scheme, announced on 6 March 2010, would see a 4.2 kilometre dual carriageway bypass south of the village. The bypass would start at a new roundabout on the Ballykelly Road east of the village, skirting around the south of the village before rejoining the Clooney Road at a new roundabout west of the village. Plans are underway to build to a second entrance into the new DARD offices off the main Ballykelly Road.