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PREFERRED CORRIDORS FOR A5 and A8 DUALLING PROJECTS ANNOUNCED

7 November, 2008


Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy announced the preferred corridors for the proposed dual carriageway upgrades of the A5 running from Derry to Aughnacloy, Co Tyrone and the A8 between Belfast and Larne, Co Antrim.

Speaking after a meeting on a range of transport issues with Irish Transport Minister , Noel Dempsey TD, in County Meath, Minister Murphy said completion of these projects, which will have a combined estimated cost of around £1billion, "will provide significant benefits in terms of improving safety and journey time reliability, and this will have consequential benefits for business and the overall economy."

These projects, which include a £400million contribution from the South, form part of an overall strategy to improve the network of key transport corridors across the North.

The Minister said: "I am pleased to report the excellent progress on these two significant projects and that the first key milestone, which is the production of preliminary option reports including recommendations for preferred corridors, has been met on both projects.

"Completion of these reports leads on to the next stage of the projects which is the development of route options within the corridors. These options will be going out to public consultation and I would encourage people living in or near the preferred corridors on either scheme to attend the consultation events."

The A5 project which, at a length of over 80km, is the largest ever road scheme undertaken in the North, will upgrade the entire Western Corridor from Derry to the border at Aughnacloy via Strabane and Omagh, to dual carriageway status.

Consultation on the A5 route options is expected to take place in early 2009. All landowners in the A5 study area will receive direct notification of the preferred corridor location as well as advance notice of the public consultation events which will be held at a number of locations along the route. The A5 scheme website www.a5wtc.com will contain an interactive map of the preferred corridor and other information.

The A8 project will complete a minimum standard of dual carriageway along the Eastern Seaboard Corridor which runs from Larne through Belfast to the border at Newry.

For the A8 scheme two corridors will be taken forward to the next stage of the assessment (Preferred Route selection). For most of their length, both corridors run on or close to the existing road alignment with an exception at Ballynure where the corridors bypass either to the west or east of the village. A local bypass of Bruslee will also be considered.

A Public Consultation Event associated with the A8 scheme will be held at Corr's Corner Hotel, 315 Ballyclare Road, Newtownabbey on Tuesday 11 November and Wednesday 12 November 2008 between 1pm and 9pm.

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