Department defends strategy after traffic gridlock

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The Department of Infrastructure has said it has worked to keep traffic disruption to “a minimum” after criticism of the traffic gridlock caused by roadworks in and around Limavady.

DUP councillor James McCorkell had accused Northern Ireland’s Roads Service of lacking “strategic thinking” after around half-a-dozen roads were subject to lane closures in and around the Co Londonderry town.

Mr McCorkell said: “It almost feels like every road in and out of the town is out of action. While these works are important and will undoubtedly benefit the town in the long term, there really does need to be more strategic thinking here.”

But the department responsible for the Roads Service has defended its actions.

“As far as possible the department aims to keep roadworks disruption on the strategic network to a minimum,” a spokesperson said.

The department said other necessary works on the main roads connecting Limavady to Londonderry and Coleraine had either been finished in advance of major works in Ballykelly, or delayed until afterwards.

“Due to the nature of the works at Ballykelly and Baranailt Road near Claudy it was not possible to delay further,” the spokesperson added.

“Other work on Irish Green street and Rathbrady Road has been purposely timed to be carried out during the summer period to avoid disruption to local schools.”