Friday, August 10, 2012

Northern Ireland Road to Be Made Safer for Freight Trucks and Their Convoys of Cars

Dualling of the A5 will Prevent More Tragedies
Shipping News Feature

UK - The Freight Transport Association (FTA) this week welcomed the £330 million go ahead for a dual carriageway project on two stretches of the A5 Western Transport Corridor in Northern Ireland. The green-light to proceed with the construction of the road was recently announced by Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy. The two areas of the route to be affected by the planned work are between New Buildings Londonderry, to north of Strabane and from south of Omagh to Ballygawley to Aughnacloy. The improvements will also help boost industry and commerce, as the road is vital to the Northern Ireland economy, forming part of the strategic road network linking towns, cities, and seaports. Tom Wilson, FTA’s General Manager, Ireland said:

“With so many junctions and side road accesses onto the existing A5 there has always been the potential for collisions along this route. The dual-carriageway upgrade will help to reduce the number of collisions by providing improved cross sections, forward visibility and alignment as well as reducing long tailbacks of cars following behind slower moving vehicles.

“It’s surprising just how many motorists don’t realise that HGVs are legally restricted to a maximum of 40mph along the existing A5 single carriageway and consequently car drivers often take enormous risks in trying to overtake slower moving goods vehicles and tractors.”

Safety has long been an issue on this stretch of road. Traffic jams and tailbacks have long been a common problem on the route, leading to frustrated motorists sometimes taking risks when overtaking lorries, which are restricted to 40mph on all single carriageways. Tom Wilson concluded:

“This work will finally make the A5 a much safer road for all freight transport and other road users as well as having economic and construction industry benefits.”