Dallat: North West needs a proper A6 road

The single carriageway Moneynick Rd on the A6, which John Dallat fears might be the only upgraded section of the Belfast to Londonderry route
The single carriageway Moneynick Rd on the A6, which John Dallat fears might be the only upgraded section of the Belfast to Londonderry route

It appears that in a bid to ensure that they are returned following the elections the powers that be are promising the heavens and earth with money from the next Assembly.

So confident are they of this outcome they expect us all to blindly welcome the announcement of work to take place on a small section of the A6 as if it guarantees the completion of a road that Derry desperately needs.

Letter to the editor

Letter to the editor

But as anyone with half a memory will recall – the same promises were made in 2011 and billboards were bought proclaiming that money for not only the A6 but also the A5 had been secured. It is galling that some claim this Moneynick construction is evidence of delivery for those promises.

It is not enough to ‘be confident’ that the money will be found. Hope won’t pay the bills. Only £100,000 was identified for seven flagship projects in the budget – but this work in Moneynick will cost £130m alone. The bulk of that will have to be met out of future funding still to be made available as part of the block grant from the British Treasury.

The DUP minister’s promise to me in the Assembly this week is welcome. Sadly her predecessors didn’t have the same apparent commitment or we might have had the much needed bypass at Dungiven.

The challenges facing the North West are formidable and cannot be met without investment in proper transport infrastructures. The North West must be supported to allow economic development to its full potential and must not be starved of capital investment in roads. These are the ingredients which attract new inward investment and an ability to be competitive in a fiercely competitive market place.

Offering the NW half a loaf in the throw of an election may buy time for some but it will not address the genuine needs of the NW.

The SDLP is committed to addressing injustices inherited from the past. While our political rivals may brand us negative, our determination to deliver a future based on equality is very positive.

John Dallat MLA, SDLP East Londonderry