The Freight Transport Association (FTA) is bitterly disappointed in yet another delay in upgrading the vital A6 road between Belfast & L’Derry following a judgement hearing at Belfast High Court (24 November).
Work was originally due to commence in October but confusion over ongoing habitat checks and assessments and their impact on the overall scheme has led the judge to question the importance of these checks and whether their result could have halted the project.
Leave was granted and there will now be a full hearing, probably in early 2017. Until then work cannot commence.
Seamus Leheny, Policy Manager for FTA in Northern Ireland, said: “Questions must be asked of the Department for Infrastructure, specifically those involved in the scheme, as to why this has happened – and in similar circumstances to a legal challenge upheld against the other main road to L’Derry, the A5, a few years ago.”
FTA is calling on the Department for Infrastructure and Minister Chris Hazzard to address this issue as soon as possible and ensure the legalities and best practice in planning and implementing the A6 scheme is not jeopardised any further.
Mr Leheny concluded: “The A6 is the main strategic road for transporting commercial goods between L’Derry, mid-Ulster and the wider North West and it is vital that the scheme gets back on track as soon as possible to ensure the economic wellbeing of local industry and of commercial vehicle operators using this key transport corridor.”