North west roadworks gridlock: ‘It feels like every road into the town is closed’

Roadworks in Ballykelly, Co Londonderry
Roadworks in Ballykelly, Co Londonderry
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Northern Ireland’s Roads Service has been accused of lacking “strategic planning” after Limavady was left with just a few clear roads in and out of the town.

There are currently half-a-dozen lane closures on roads dotted around the town and, according to DUP councillor James McCorkell, it is now “game, set and match” for residents trying to gain access or leave the town.

The main road between Limavady and Londonderry has become highly congested due to sewage works in the nearby village of Ballykelly, while the Windyhill Road connecting Limavady and Coleraine is also subject to lane closures.

And Limavady residents hoping to escape the traffic chaos by taking alternative country roads will find little relief, with lane closures on the Ballyquin Road towards Dungiven, and temporary road closures on the Baranailt Road to Claudy.

That’s without mentioning the temporary lane closures in the town itself – on Irish Green Street and the Rathbrady Road.

Almost every road in and out of the town – the notable exception being the A37 to Coleraine – subject to some form of traffic congestion due to roadworks.

Cllr McCorkell believes there has been a lack of planning by the Northern Ireland Roads Service.

“It’s game, set and match for Limavady. 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.

“You have the waterworks in Ballykelly, and they’re working at the top of the Baranailt Road which to me, would be the natural alternative route to avoid the roadworks in Ballykelly – so that’s the alternative route backed up too,” he said.

“There’s been no traffic management here, no strategic thinking.

“Then you have the Windyhill Road, or the Murderhole Road as it used to be called, up to Coleraine. You have traders being affected, hundreds of people trying to get to their work, and it’s just been chaos.”

Cllr McCorkell added: “This work needs to be done, I appreciate that, but you can’t just close what seems like every road in and out of Limavady.

“Could they not have done some of this work overnight, or just not had it happening all at the same time.

“The town is at a standstill.”

The Department of Infrastructure had not responded to a request for comment at time of going to press.