The chief executive of Roads Service (Dr. Malcolm McKibbin) has written to the hon. Gentleman.
Letter from Malcolm McKibbin, dated 6 November 2006:
You recently asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland a Parliamentary Question regarding what the approximate cost and length of time would be for DRD Roads Service to construct the dualling of the A26 road between Glarryford and the A44 Drones Junction. As this issues fall within my responsibility as Chief Executive of Roads Service I have been asked to reply.
You will be aware that the improvement to dual carriageway standard of the A26 Glarryford to A44 Drones Road project is one of the Strategic Road Improvements identified in the Regional Strategic Transport Network Transport Plan.
The A26 scheme is in the Roads Service’s Forward Planning Schedule. Schemes within this schedule are expected to be implemented within the next 5-10 years.
Civil Engineering Consultants, Arup were commissioned in April 2006 to assist with the development of the project through to the selection of a preferred route and completion of the statutory procedures (Environmental Statement, Direction Order and Vesting Order). On successful completion of the statutory procedures and an economic appraisal, the scheme will be taken forward to procurement and construction. Subject to the availability of funding at the time, the commencement of that stage is currently anticipated to be early 2010, with completion likely to be late 2012/early 2013. Comprehensive consultation with the public, other interested bodies and public representatives will take place throughout the development of the scheme.
The expanded Strategic Road Improvement Programme 2015 Consultation Document, published earlier this year, estimated the cost of the project to be £33M (at 2005 prices). As work progresses on the project more detail and constraints will be identified and timescales and estimates may be adjusted to suit.