Moneymore traffic issue may have ‘turned corner’

Moneymore demands a bypass to cope with increased traffic
Moneymore demands a bypass to cope with increased traffic

Lobbying for a by-pass to ease traffic tailbacks in the centre of Moneymore continues with a meeting last week between local people and government representatives.

Since the opening of Magherafelt by-pass almost two years ago, the south Derry village has turned into a bottleneck especially at peak times.

Ulster Unionist Councillor George Shiels brokered the meeting involving Moneymore Heritage Trust and the Department for Infrastructure to discuss the issue.

Speaking after the meeting, Councillor Shiels said: “Mr Tom Reid, the Department for Infrastructure’s Director of Transport Strategy, has overall responsibility for the Transport Plans Programme which will inform future Ministerial priorities when full consideration would be given to schemes such as the Moneymore by-pass.

“Moneymore is merely one of a suite of plans and should be well placed within the Local Transportation Strategy which the department is working on in partnership with Mid Ulster District Council.”

The Magherafelt councillor said that members of Moneymore Heritage Trust made many valid arguments for the need of a bypass.

“Mr Reid was left in no doubt of the problems faced daily by Moneymore residents and commuters, especially since the provision of the Magherafelt by-pass which had led to an increased volume of traffic at key times in Moneymore,” he continued.

“The members of the Trust were pleasantly surprised at the level of understanding by the Director and his grasp of the extent of the problem. Mr Reid promised to keep a line of communication open with the Trust so that they would be aware of any developments.”

Councillor Shiels concluded, “Personally I was very pleased with the ambience of the meeting and whilst no promises or guarantees were given I came away with a feeling of hope that we had at least turned a corner.”

Former Roads Ministers Chris Hazzard said it November 201 that a by-pass for the village was not a “priority”.