SDLP Infrastructure Spokesperson Mark H Durkan has raised serious concerns surrounding A6 road safety measures as well as the project’s prolonged delays.
He raised the ongoing issues at a meeting with the Infrastructure Permanent Secretary Julie Harrison and department officials on Thursday 12th January.
While the intention of the briefing was to outline the department’s stark budgetary position, Mr Durkan said that this could not excuse the failure to deliver the A6 project.
The Foyle MLA commented:
“The colossal, and quite frankly frightening, budgetary pressures facing the Department for Infrastructure at this time will undoubtedly impact on the delivery of essential frontline services as well as key infrastructure projects. That being said, the failure to complete the A6 project and address countless complaints around safety along the route cannot be excused.
“I’ve repeatedly called for an urgent review of current mitigations yet despite assurances from both the department and contractors to improve temporary traffic management measures (TTM), they remain problematic. Their failure to implement an adequate safety framework is putting lives at risk.
“It’s frustrating that critical road infrastructure linking Northern Ireland’s two biggest cities has in essence come to a standstill. Despite seeking countless updates on a completion date for the project, the department have been unable to provide any clarity. At today’s meeting, departmental officials pointed to COVID as the key contributing factor behind delays. That is utter hokum. While the pandemic may have initially disrupted activities on the A6 Dungiven to Drumahoe Dualling Scheme, issues impacting delivery pre-existed COVID. The reality is that contractors have not been on site in recent months. The department have been unable or rather unwilling to provide an explanation as to why that is.
“I’m disappointed that my concerns, and the concerns raised by so many of the public, remain unaddressed. The lack of delivery around the A6 isn’t just an issue which impacts on people’s daily commute but strangles opportunities for investment and economic prosperity for the North West.
“While I acknowledge the insurmountable challenges facing the department at this time, people deserve transparency and clarity around the completion of this long promised and long overdue project.”