Buncrana Road may be up for rethink

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It’s possible but unlikely the widening of the Buncrana Road in Londonderry will figure in the final allocations in the Executive budget for the years 2017/18 to 2020/21 and more likely it will form part of a new long-term transport plan running until 2035.

Transport Minister Chris Hazzard acknowledged the importance of the widening scheme but said his Department was focused on progressing the A5 and A6 in this budget period.

“I am aware of the issues around the Buncrana Road scheme and the benefits that it would bring to that part of the city,” said Mr Hazzard, in response to an Assembly Question tabled by SDLP MLA Mark H. Durkan.

“The Executive’s indicative budget for the period 2017/18 – 2020/21 is targeted towards the Flagship Projects which include the A5 and A6 projects, both of which will greatly benefit the North West,” said Mr Hazzard.

“The final allocations in the Budget for 2017/18 – 2020/21, which is to be agreed later this year, may provide opportunity for a review of my Department’s priorities,” said the Roads Minister.

However, he indicated the Buncrana Road scheme is more likely to feature in a new 20 year programme of works.

“Furthermore my Department is progressing the development of new Transport Plans in line with The New Approach to Regional Transportation, which will set out a long-term programme of investment.

“This will provide an opportunity for schemes, such as the A2 Buncrana Road scheme, to be considered for funding, along with other existing and proposed schemes elsewhere in the north of Ireland,” he said.