Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 18 September 2014

Derry-Dublin road unveiled

Dualling plans for vital route to be viewed by North West public

Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy today announced that preliminary plans for the long-awaited upgrade of the main Londonderry to Dublin road are to be unveiled.

Information days on the proposed improvements to the A5 route between Derry and the border at Aughnacloy will be held by Roads Service in Derry and Strabane.

The first event will be held in the Alley Theatre, Tourist Information Centre, Strabane on Thursday, May 8 from 12pm until 8pm.

The second will be staged the following night at the Everglades Hotel in Derry at the same time.

The upgrading of the A5 to dual carriageway status is the largest project ever to be undertaken in Northern Ireland and will link up with Letterkenny in Donegal and on to Dublin.

The new plans for the road have been drawn up following last year's confirmation by Mr Muprhy that the Irish government had committed £400 million towards road improvements on the A5, as well as on the A8 between Belfast and Larne.

The minister said: "Roads Service is committed to improving the physical infrastructure within Northern Ireland.

"The A5 upgrading project will improve journey times and road safety for motorists and will also generate much wider social and economic benefits for the North West."

Divisional roads manager Pat Doherty added: "The scheme development is at a very early stage and we are keen to explain the objectives of the scheme, raise awareness of the project and to obtain public opinion.

"It is also very important that, at this stage, we capture from the public any information that may influence the scheme design. We would therefore encourage as many people as possible to attend the public information days."

Roads Service has appointed consultants Mouchel as their advisor on the A5 project.

Andy Campbell, Mouchel project director, said: "The A5 Western Transport Corridor is the largest road project ever to be undertaken here and we are delighted to be working for Roads Service on this exciting scheme. Building relationships with local communities is at the heart of Mouchel's values, and we are looking forward to meeting the residents along this corridor."

Mouchel's first task is to carry out a constraints assessment in a wide study, and teams of specialists will soon be out and about in the towns and countryside making assessments and recording significant information.

In addition, over the next month, teams of specialists will be carrying out brief questionnaires at the roadside as part of a traffic census. Each questionnaire, which focuses on the driver's journey, will be either completed on site or will require self-completion at home.

Mr Campbell added: "The questionnaires are particularly important and will be carried out with the assistance of the police. We would greatly appreciate the co-operation of the public, should they be approached by the survey team, as each questionnaire will help to inform the scheme design."

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