News that improvement work can now proceed for the A6 between Belfast and Derry is a welcome boost for businesses in the North West and Mid-Ulster, according to the Freight Transport Association (FTA) which claims to be the country’s largest membership association for the freight and logistics industry. For many years, FTA members have endured long delays and higher transport costs due to congestion on the route.
Seamus Leheny, FTA’s Policy Manager for Northern Ireland, said: “This news means work can now commence on upgrading this antiquated piece of the road network, to ensure that another piece of the A6 jigsaw is completed. Goods will have improved journey time reliability, something that has held back businesses in the affected region in the past and has been proved unattractive to potential inward investment.”
The majority of goods going to and from Derry and the wider north west transit via the A6, since they either originate from the numerous distribution centres in the Greater Belfast area or are exports and imports being shipped via Belfast and Larne ports.
Seamus Leheny continued: “After years of lobbying ministers and government officials to proceed with improving the A6, FTA warmly welcomes the decision taken today and looks forward not just to this section’s completion in due course, but to the progression of plans for upgrading several other sections of the A6 to L’Derry.
“An improved A6 will not only assist businesses in the north west to send and receive goods faster and cheaper, but it will also help attract inward investment to the region, as the ability to transport goods to market efficiently is a key criterion for any company considering investing in a new location. We look forward to the improvement works taking place swiftly and efficiently, to ensure that freight can move freely across the region and keep our businesses trading.”