Sinn Fein has been asked to call off a planned white-line picket in Dungiven this afternoon.
The white-line pickets are planned to take place on a monthly basis to protest the lack of progress on plans for a Dungiven bypass and dualling the road to Londonderry.
The call to call this afternoon’s white line protests off comes from East Londonderry SDLP Assembly Member John Dallat who said: “The traffic situation is chaotic enough, particularly in the lead up to Christmas, without the added snarl up which will be caused by a white line protest about traffic congestion.
“Sinn Fein locally was shafted by the former minister for Regional Development Conor Murphy who could have decoupled the Dungiven bypass from the main A6 project, but stubbornly refused to despite repeated requests from the SDLP. He could have fast-tracked the entire project but again failed to exercise any ministerial authority over his civil servants.
“White line protests will fool no one and only diverts attention away from the fact that serious mistakes were made which could have vastly improved the transport infrastructure of the North West at a time when Sinn Fein was in control but was failed by their minister Mr Murphy.
“At its recent party conference the SDLP has called for immediate action to address serious transport infrastructure neglect some of which has existed since partition. Delegates noted with regret that it was during a time when Sinn Fein had control of transport that the Foyle Ferry Service ceased to operate full time and is currently out of commission altogether. It was during that time that the budget for the upgrading of the Belfast-Derry railway was robbed after consent from Conor Murphy.
“All this neglect of transport infrastructure has serious implications when potential inward investors are considering East Derry as a location for industry. Running parallel with this neglect is the refusal of the minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment, Arlene Foster to offer any incentive to inward investors who should be encouraged to choose the North West as a location for employment opportunities. ‘Yes, people need to protest about the failure of the Sinn Fein-DUP coalition to address the neglect of the North West, but adding further chaos to the traffic in Dungiven is not the way to do it.”