Gordon Lyons (DUP, East Antrim) holds a junior ministerial post in the Executive Office and is now poised to take a post on the A75/A77 Action Group, alongside Mid and East Antrim Borough Council’s CEO, Anne Donaghy.
The group aims to bolster the road links connecting Cairnryan to England (A75) and Glasgow / Edinburgh (A77).
The reason for their inclusion on the action group is that the Port of Larne runs sailings to and from Cairnryan (via P&O).
In April, the UK Government announced a funding package of up to £17 million to maintain a number of “critical routes” – of which Larne to Cairnryan was one – during the Coronavirus emergency.
The council said: “To really grow the A8 at Larne into a key economic corridor, which is one of council’s strategic priorities, we need to have adequate infrastructure between England and Scotland.
“The A77 and A75 are barriers to that.”
It added that the MLA and CEO’s input to the group “will be key to the future progress of the campaign for a major upgrade which will benefit the local and wider Northern Ireland economy”.
There is already a cross-country working group called the North Channel Partnership, bringing together Dumfries and Galloway Council and Mid and East Antrim.
It was recently rekindled after falling into abeyance, having originally been founded in 1999.
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