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A5 Derry/Londonderry to Aughnacloy

Regional Development – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 am on 13th October 2008.

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Photo of Raymond McCartney Raymond McCartney Sinn Féin 3:15 am, 13th October 2008

5. asked the Minister for Regional Development for an update on the A5 Derry/Londonderry to Aughnacloy road scheme.                  (AQO 654/09)

Photo of Conor Murphy Conor Murphy Sinn Féin

Since the Member’s previous question for oral answer in February 2008 in relation to the A5, Roads Service has carried out a series of public information events and has progressed work to identify a preferred corridor. I am pleased to advise the House that that work is nearing completion, and an announcement on the preferred corridor is expected later this year.

Photo of Raymond McCartney Raymond McCartney Sinn Féin

Go raibh maith agat, a Cheann Comhairle. The Minister will be aware that a major road scheme between Derry and Dungiven is under way, as well as the bypass. Both road schemes will have an impact on traffic in Derry. What plans does the Minister have to ease that impact?

Photo of Conor Murphy Conor Murphy Sinn Féin

The Member is correct: there will be two major road improvement schemes on the A5 and the A6 in the vicinity of Derry in the coming years, and they will have an impact on traffic in the city. There have been a significant number of developments in and around the city already: the Skeoge Link, the opening of which I attended; the Crescent Link; the Broadbridge scheme to provide dual carriageway at Clooney Road from Maydown to the City of Derry Airport; and the two main roads that the Member mentioned. We are also beginning a project to widen the Buncrana Road from Pennyburn roundabout to the border, and that will assist in relieving traffic congestion.

Due to the impact of the two major routes coming in from Belfast and the Aughnacloy side of the border, Roads Service has commissioned consultants to consider linkages around the city and the impact that those two projects will have. Reports on the preliminary work on that consultation should be available before the end of the year.

Photo of Allan Bresland Allan Bresland DUP

Many of my constituents have concerns about the possible route for the A5 dual carriageway scheme. Will the Minister give an assurance that the landowners and the wider community will be kept informed of the proposals for the A5 programme?

Photo of Conor Murphy Conor Murphy Sinn Féin

I assure the Member that that will be the case. He knows that there have been several public information events on the routes that may be considered. Within the next couple of months — before the year is out — I hope to announce the preferred corridor, which will contain several route options. Again, that will go out to public consultation, and people who live along that corridor will be given an opportunity to comment on it. It is a substantial piece of road building, and the biggest that has ever been undertaken on this island. It is going through mainly rural areas and will affect a substantial number of landowners.

A tried and tested procedure has been gone through for many road schemes, including the A4 extension from Dungannon to Ballygawley, where a substantial number of landowners had to be dealt with. I assure the Member that there will be ongoing public consultation. Landowners affected directly will have the opportunity to have their say and to ensure that their voices are heard.

Photo of Mary Bradley Mary Bradley Social Democratic and Labour Party

When can people in Derry expect to see plans to upgrade the Waterside railway station?

Photo of Conor Murphy Conor Murphy Sinn Féin

The Member has managed to jump to question 19. As I would have said had I got that far, there have been several upgrading works on the station. Any further work will be considered in conjunction with the track relay scheme between Coleraine and Derry due to happen in 2011.