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Conor Murphy announces the preferred route for A5 Western Transport Corridor

21 July, 2009 - by Westminster

Transport Minister Conor Murphy and his southern counterpart Minister Noel Dempsey TD, today announced the preferred route for the A5 Western Transport Corridor, the proposed 86 kilometre long dual carriageway from Derry to Aughnacloy, estimated to cost between £650million and £850million.

Speaking in Omagh, Co. Tyrone the Minister said: “The A5 Western Transport Corridor is one of five Key Transport Corridors identified in the Regional Transportation Strategy for the North of Ireland. This major road improvement scheme represents quite a significant step in improving connections between Dublin and Derry and Donegal in the North West of Ireland. Today’s announcement of the preferred route marks the achievement, on time, of the second key milestone for this project agreed between both the Executive and the Irish Government.

“The proposed road is a high standard dual carriageway and will have no private accesses, no central reserve crossovers and the minimum of junctions. Many of the local roads will not be connected to the dual carriageway but will be taken over or under the new road or stopped up. This standard of dual carriageway has significant safety benefits for the road user. The new dual carriageway will also bring an estimated saving on journey times of approximately 20 minutes. This time saving is very important. I, along with my Executive colleagues, am committed to reversing decades of underinvestment West of the Bann and helping realise the economic and investment opportunities in the region through balanced regional infrastructure.”

“In environmental terms, the towns and villages along the route of the existing A5 will benefit greatly from this project. The new dual carriageway will attract most of the long distance traffic, particularly the heavy goods vehicles, away from the existing A5. The reduced traffic volumes through the towns and settlements will create a safer environment with better air quality and reduced noise giving an overall better quality of life for the residents.

“Unfortunately it is not possible to construct a road project of this size without adverse effects on dwellings, property and land. I am pleased to say that our designers have succeeded in developing a preferred route which impacts directly on only a very small number of dwellings. Over the next few days, in advance of public exhibitions to be held next week, staff from Roads Service and its project consultants, Mouchel, will be visiting those dwelling owners to personally inform them of the line of the preferred route."

The Minister outlined the preferred route saying: "It starts at the Derry end with a new single carriageway by-pass to the west of New Buildings. Immediately south of New Buildings there will be a roundabout which will be the start of the new dual carriageway. This roundabout will also facilitate possible future road links between the A5 and the A6 and also across the River Foyle to the west of the City and Donegal. Running southwards from New Buildings, the preferred route tracks west of Magheramason, east of Bready , west of Cloghcor and Ballymagorry and by-passes Strabane to the west.

"The preferred route passes between Sion Mills and Glebe, passes west of Victoria Bridge and Newtownstewart and continues west of Mountjoy and Omagh. At the southern end, the preferred route tracks to the west of Garvaghy and Ballygawley before bypassing Aughnacloy on its east side to meet with the A28 Armagh/Newry route. From this point, a short section of single carriageway will facilitate connection to the proposed improvements to upgrade the N2 route in County Monaghan."

Public exhibitions, at which more detailed maps will be available to inform the public about the Preferred Route, are being held at the following locations:
The Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh on Monday 27 July from 12.00noon to 9.00pm
The Fir Trees Hotel, Strabane on Tuesday 28 July from 12.00noon to 9.00pm
The Everglades Hotel, Derry, on Wednesday 29 July from 12.00noon to 9.00pm
St Ciaran’s College, Ballygawley on Thursday 30 July from 12.00noon to 9.00pm
Staff from Roads Service and their advisors will be available to answer questions.

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