The upgrading of the A6 between Londondderry and Belfast could save goods vehicle operators around £70 for each return journey by a 44 tonne articulated vehicle, clearly demonstrating the potential economic benefits of such improvements.
That’s according to Seamus Leheny, Policy Manager for the Freight Transport Association, who said the long overdue upgrade is considered one of the biggest problems faced by goods vehicle operators due to congestion and delays on what is regarded as a key strategic trade route.
Mr Leheny has written to the six recently elected Foyle MLAs on the matter.
“The majority of goods going to and from L’Derry and the wider north west transit via the A6. This is either because they originate from the numerous distribution centres in the Greater Belfast area or are exports and imports being shipped via Belfast and Larne ports,” said Mr Leheny.
“An improved A6 will not only assist businesses in the north west to send and receive goods faster and cheaper, but it will also help attract inward investment as the ability to transport goods to market efficiently is a key criterion for any company considering investing in a new location.”
He added: “Another significant benefit of upgrading the A6 would be road safety. The speed limit for HGVs on a single carriageway in Northern Ireland is 40mph, compared with that for a car which is 60mph.
“Because a significant proportion of the A6 is currently single carriageway, this often leads to HGVs creating long queues of traffic, leading some car drivers to make dangerous overtaking manoeuvres. Additional dual carriageway on the A6 would create safer overtaking opportunities for cars and help make traffic speed more consistent.”