Video: A2 plan tweaked to tackle access concerns

The massive Buncrana Road scheme that will help tackle chronic congestion on the A2 in Derry has been tweaked to address residents’ concerns.

Unveiling revised proposals in Da Vinci’s, Gordon Noble, Department for Infrastructure project manager, said he hoped the concerns of Farren Park and St. John’s Park residents had been addressed.

Gordon Noble, DfI project manager on the A2 scheme (centre) discussing the revised plans in Derry on Tuesday.

Gordon Noble, DfI project manager on the A2 scheme (centre) discussing the revised plans in Derry on Tuesday.

“We’ve listened to what people have said. We’ve tried to incorporate as many of the changes as we can into the scheme. We certainly have a positive story for the people of Farren Park.

"We’ve adjusted the access to suit them. A number of other accesses were also adjusted. St. John’s Park, for instance. We adjusted the access in there to make it more suitable for those residents,” said Mr. Noble.

People living in Farren Park had been unhappy about the plans because access to their homes from Buncrana Road would have been blocked. People living in Ardnashee, meanwhile, felt this would have created a ‘rat-run’ through their estate with cars entering Farren Park from a new access point on the Culmore Road.

But under the revised proposals access points to Farren Park and St. John’s Park, a few hundred metres to the North West, have been reinstated.

Otherwise the essentials of the scheme have not changed.

“We are still building an urban dual carriageway scheme along the full road to try to help with the traffic congestion and to look after the safety of everybody using the road,” said Mr. Noble.

“We’ve also included a cyclepath. Those are all positive things we’ve brought forward since the last meeting. We’re very aware of the traffic volumes with 20,000 vehicles a day using the road and as time goes on with new developments such as the H2 lands at Skeoge that traffic volume is going to grow.”

SDLP Councillor Brian Tierney said: “With just a quick look at the maps a lot of concerns have been addressed. Residents will again give their views and hopefully we’ll see this progress. We met with the residents of Farren Park and Ardnashee and there were concerns that the junction from Farren Park onto the Buncrana Road was being closed off, which would have put more traffic up into Ardnashee. That’s been addressed.

DfI intends publishing draft vesting and direction orders and an environmental statement by mid-2020.

Mr. Noble said: “With this size of a scheme there will probably be a public inquiry which will happen in 2020 and given the outcome of that we would then take a year to procure a contractor. So the most optimistic date would be 2022.”

Gordon Noble, DfI project manager on the A2 scheme (centre) discussing the revised plans in Derry on Tuesday.