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Roads: Londonderry to Dublin

Volume 686: debated on Tuesday 7 November 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What plans they have to upgrade the part of the road from Londonderry to Dublin which passes through the United Kingdom; what is the nature of the proposed upgrade; how the upgrade will be funded; and when the improvements will take place.[HL7960]

The chief executive of Roads Service has written to the noble Lord in response to this question. The text of the letter is as follows.

The Londonderry to Dublin corridor comprises the A5-N2-N32-M1. The section of the route in Northern Ireland forms the western key corridor from Londonderry through Strabane and Omagh to Aughnacloy on the A5. This is one of five key transport corridors identified in the regional transportation strategy for Northern Ireland (RTS). The regional strategic transport network transport plan (RSTNTP), a daughter document of the RTS, contains proposals costing some £1,000 million to develop the strategic road network up to the end of 2015. Schemes on the western corridor included in the current strategic road improvement (SRI) programme include:

Scheme Name

Description

£m

Position

A5 Newtownstewart Bypass

2.6 kilometre single carriageway bypass

8.2

Complete

A5 Strabane Bypass Stage 2

2.6 kilometre single carriageway bypass with 1.4 kilometre side roads

5.0

Complete

A5 Omagh Throughpass 3

2.4 kilometre single carriageway extension to throughpass

10.0

Complete

A5 Tullyvar (PPP Package 2)

3.1 kilometre single carriageway realignment with climbing lanes each way

6.4

Preparation Pool*

A5 Strabane Bypass Stage 3

New 1 kilometre single carriageway bypass extension

4.1

Preparation Pool*

A5/N14 Strabane Bypass-Lifford Link

Upgrade of link between the A5 in Strabane and N14/N15 at Lifford

3.0

Forward Planning Schedule**

* Preparation Pool—high priority schemes that are being designed and progressed through the statutory procedures and are expected to be implemented within the next five years.

** Forward Planning Schedule—schemes that are expected to be implemented within the next five to 10 years.

The investment strategy for Northern Ireland, which was developed by the Strategic Investment Board for Northern Ireland (ISNI) and announced in December 2005, envisages a further investment of £400 million on major works schemes on the strategic road network. Roads Service is currently considering the responses to the consultation document for an expanded SRI programme that would be expected to commence in the latter part of the 2005-15 RSTN plan period.

The consultation document proposes a significant road improvement scheme on the western key transport corridor between Londonderry and Victoria Bridge, south of Strabane. The scheme would provide 30 kilometres of new route (ie, off line), to 2+1 standard, and would include bypasses of New Buildings, Magheramason, Strabane and Sion Mills at an estimated cost of £130 million, at 2005 prices.

I should add that all schemes listed above will be subject to detailed economic appraisal, clearance of the relevant statutory procedures, and the availability of funds through the normal budgetary processes.