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Conor Murphy confirms route for A8 Belfast to Larne dualling

5 August, 2009 - by Westminster

Transport Minister, Conor Murphy, today announced the preferred route for the proposed £113million dualling of the 14km section of the A8 between Ballyclare and Larne in Co Antrim.

The preferred route between the Coleman’s Corner roundabout near Ballyclare and the B100 Ballyrickard Road junction near Larne, is primarily an on-line improvement of the existing single carriageway road to dual carriageway, with a by-pass to the east of Bruslee, and a by-pass to the west of Ballynure.

The Minister said: “I am pleased to confirm the preferred route for this strategically important road scheme. This development, in terms of transport links, will act as a catalyst to the local economy, particularly during these uncertain financial times. Some 17,000 vehicles currently use the A8 every day, a high proportion of which are heavy goods vehicles.

"The A8 Belfast to Larne Dualling between Coleman’s Corner roundabout and the B100 Ballyrickard Road junction will improve road safety and reduce journey times, benefiting both the travelling public and the business community. The improvement will also help develop the Port of Larne, which is the second largest Port in the north.

"Selecting the preferred route has been challenging, but I believe the route chosen is a equitable balance of traffic, environmental and engineering issues, and provides an economically viable solution."

This preferred route announcement is the culmination of a thorough assessment of twelve potential corridor options for the route. The corridors were assessed against the Government’s five key objectives for transport: environment, safety, economy, accessibility and integration. Roads Service also undertook consultation exhibitions for the corridors in November 2008. This was followed by individual, one-to-one consultations with all potentially affected landowners. Consultation feedback formed an important part of the assessment process and helped inform the scheme assessment process.

Roads Service will continue to develop the design for this important road scheme in preparation for progressing the project through the necessary environmental, planning and land acquisition statutory procedures. Affected land owners and other interested parties will continue to be individually consulted as part of the process.

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