A Derry councillor has warned that the failure to realise plans to upgrade the A2 Buncrana Road is hampering regeneration across a large part of the city.
Sinn Fein Councillor Tony Hassan has said works to dual the road from Pennyburn Roundabout to the border at Bridgend needed to start now.
Colr. Hassan was speaking after the ‘Journal’ revealed last week that fresh designs had been drawn up for the project.
The Department of Infrastructure said that new traffic surveys have also been undertaken.
However, the Department cautioned that draft orders for the carriageway will not be issued for at least two years and then if funding for the project is ring-fenced.
It is now 12 years since the proposal to widen the 2.8 mile route was detailed and public consultation on the £60m project began back in 2007. However, the project has never reached the construction phase.
Colr. Hassan said that as long as the Department of Infrastructure and Transport NI do not upgrade the road into four lanes of traffic, “we will continue to have back logs of traffic no regeneration and no development in this part of the city.”
Colr. Hassan said: “The report in Friday’s ‘Journal’ that officials from the Department of Infrastructure had drawn up plans and that fresh traffic surveys along Derry/Donegal has been carried out means nothing, unless the Buncrana Road is developed into four lanes of traffic now, not in 2022.
“The regeneration and development in the Buncrana Road area of the city will not happen unless the A2 Buncrana road is upgraded.”
Colr. Hassan added that the development of the road was vital to facilitate and enhance the expansion and investment plans across many key sites such as Fort George, Pennyburn, /Springtown industrial estates and Arntz.
“Translink and taxis firms say they are losing money due to the congestion in that part of the city,” he claimed.
“I accept that the A5 and A6 are the top priority which should have been developed a long time ago, but as a local councillor for this area the regeneration and development of Buncrana road is a priority for me and for the people who live in the Greater Shantallow and Northlands areas of the city,” he concluded.