Minister for Regional Development, Danny Kennedy, outlined the lessons learned from the setback on the A5 project during today’s Question Time. After the successful legal challenge to the A5 western transport corridor the Minister initiated a ‘lessons learned’ review. Environmental issues and associated legislation were a particular emphasis of the review and the findings “have resulted in improvements that are now applied to all major road improvement schemes.”
During topical questions Mr Kennedy also discussed the potential of a new transport hub in Derry. The Minister revealed that, following public consultation, Waterside station “was far and away the most popular venue for the upgrade”. The Minister did concede that “There is no finance attached to that project yet” but that “the intent is there”. He will now be consulting with Translink and looking at how the project can be developed.
The Minister also discussed the plans for a transport hub in Belfast which are “further down the line” saying that the “opportunities that the Belfast hub presents would be a lasting legacy project for this Department”. Mr Kennedy is working with SIB and the Department of Finance and Personnel to identify how the funds required for the project can be sourced.
During Question Time the Minister also answered Members’ questions on the A6 project, on-street car parking, road improvements at the junction of the A24 and B6 and on the possible upgrade of Kilkeel bus station.