‘No funding’ yet for Buncrana Road

Artist's impression of how the new road could look.
Artist's impression of how the new road could look.

A local MLA has expressed disappointment that the Department for Infrastructure ‘do not currently have the funding to deliver’ the long-awaited A2 Buncrana Road Improvement Scheme.

DfI had previously said preparatory works would begin next year, however they have now confirmed in a letter that they do not currently have the funding for the scheme and the ‘view of an incoming minister on the relative priority of the scheme will be a determining factor as to whether, and when, it goes ahead’.

Mark H. Durkan.

Mark H. Durkan.

SDLP MLA Mark Durkan said: “A great deal of time and effort has already gone into this flagship project, the need of which has become more and more apparent. So, it is extremely discouraging that the department’s copy and paste ‘money and ministers’ response has been cited for the inability to progress yet another vital initiative.

He added: “I had initially written to the department relaying concerns of business owners regarding the scheme’s latest proposals and the potentially detrimental impact the design in its current form, could have on trade in the area. Whilst I have been assured that any future proposals would provide the ‘best balance of outcomes for all’, the overall rhetoric has cast doubts over when or even if, this project will go ahead.”

Mr Durkan said the continual postponement of improved travel links in the North West will ‘no doubt further hinder the region’s economic potential’.

“Whilst I acknowledge budgetary uncertainty and the absence of a minister have become somewhat of an occupational hazard for all departments here, I find it hugely frustrating that once again hard-fought infrastructural necessities West of the Bann have borne the brunt of this deadlock.”