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Public Involvement Crucial in A6 Preferred Route Option - McCartney

6 June, 2005

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Regional Development, Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed the DRD Roads Service, announcement that there will be a public consultation to discuss the selection of a 'Preferred Route Option' on the development between the western end of the M22 motorway at Randalstown and the section north of the Castledawson Roundabout.

Mr McCartney said:

"The importance of the A6 as a Key Strategic Transport Corridor cannot be overstated. For many years the A6 route has not been developed in the manner and with the urgency that is required to develop the infrastructure between Derry and Belfast, the North's two main urban areas.

"This latest stage in piecing together the A6 capital road works programme, by setting in place in 2 + 1 schemes, means that progress is slow. However, I welcome the fact the Roads Service are to hold a series of public consultations to allow the public and those likely to be affected by this latest phase of the A6 route to express their views and concerns over the works programme.

"Although some £25 million has already been spent on the implementation of 2 + 1 schemes and the Toome Bypass, Sinn Féin are concerned that the suspension of political institutions will undermine the impetus for future capital works projects.

"In terms of developing an All Ireland Transport strategy, this KTC (Key Transport Corridor) is one of the integral routes to connect Belfast - Derry - Donegal. The social, economic, educational and tourism opportunities are evident, economic regeneration throughout the North West region relies heavily on a modern, safe accessible and multi modal transport plan. The issue of redressing regional disparities is crucial for the development of the North, particularly west of the Bann." ENDS

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