Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Bypass work slated for next year

Danny Kennedy as welcomed the building of the Magherafelt bypass as a boost to transport links and the local ecomony

Work could start on the Magherafelt bypass in Mid Ulster by September next year, it was revealed.

Forty million pounds have been set aside by Stormont's Executive for the project as part of the reallocation of departmental budgets.

The 3km road will extend from the Moneymore Road to the Castledawson roundabout.

Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy said: "As Transport Minister, my key goal is to ensure that the public are able to travel with ease whether that is on our roads, cycle lanes or footpaths. While there are many major road schemes that I would like to progress, funding pressures mean that this is not always possible.

"Today's announcement will not only benefit the local economy but will also provide a significant boost to the construction industry creating around 200 jobs over the duration of the project which is vitally important in the current financial climate."

Finance Minister Sammy Wilson announced the budget reallocations in the Assembly.

These include £59 million to the Department of Regional Development, £55 million to Health, Social Services & Public Safety and £19 million to Enterprise, Trade and Investment.

Mr Wilson said: "The allocations made in this round will provide a huge boost for our construction sector. There was also good news for the wider local economy in terms of the Executive's provision of further resources to Invest NI.

"Our hospitals will also benefit from the injection of funding for maintenance of the health estate and purchase of new medical equipment."

The Executive also agreed that Finance officials would initiate an immediate review of building spending plans for 2014-15 to ensure that projects could be progressed as quickly as possible.

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