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TRAFFIC CHAOS: Prioritise Ballykelly bypass plans within new transport strategy, MLA Sugden urges

EAST Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden has again urged the Minister for Infrastructure to include the long-awaited Ballykelly bypass as part of its priorities in an upcoming 10-year transport strategy.

The need for a bypass around the village has been talked about for nearly 20 years, but during the dissolution of Stormont, the Permanent Secretary of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) confirmed that all, more recent, development had been paused because of budget constraints.

“Even the preferred route of this bypass was identified more than 10 years ago,” Ms Sugden said. “That scheme went no further, but the need has since grown for commuters and residents of Ballykelly.

“Tailbacks and congestion are common at all times of day, severely impacting important links between Coleraine, Limavady and Derry.

“The development of the Regional Strategic Transport Network Transport Plan (RSTNTP) – which itself has been stalled and delayed for years because of the stop-start functioning of Stormont – is welcome.

“Following correspondence with the minister, I have received a commitment from him to look again at Ballykelly within the scope of the plan. But because the plan includes investments and improvements up until 2035, confidence that we will see imminent movement on this project is lacking.

“This project really matters to people. I hope that when the plan is soon published it will include this important improvement to the A2, along with a commitment to seeing it happen in a timely way.”

MAJOR PRIORITY: MLA Claire Sugden has urged the Minister for Infrastructure about the long-awaited Ballykelly bypass

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