A2 Ballykelly Bypass

 

Status
Construction scheme (future)
Where
2+1 bypass of Ballykelly village, on the main A2 Coleraine to Londonderry route.
Total Length
6 km / 3.8 miles
Dates

First proposed - 1970s

Formally proposed by government 31 July 2006

Scheme given the go-ahead April 2008

Public information days held 7,8 May 2008

Construction due between 2013 and 2018 (as of Apr 2008)

Cost

£30m (2005 prices)

Photos
None as yet - please contact me if you have any
See Also

General area map

The A2 road runs from Coleraine to Limavady, then to Londonderry via Ballykelly. It is a small village, although it is home to a large army base. The level of traffic is high (14,965 vehicles per day at nearby Greysteel in 2007) and causes disruption to the local residents and delays to drivers. In the 1960s the M23 was planned to run this way, but this was scrapped and the plan reduced to a trunk road bypassing the village in the 1970s. However, this plan was also abandoned.

The 2006 incarnation of the plan will see a 6km bypass constructed around the town. It will be built to 2+1 standard, meaning the road will be 3 lanes wide with the central lane operating as an overtaking lane that alternates between east- and west-bound traffic every 1-2km. There may be a central crash barrier, but this has not yet been decided.

As of May 2008 Roads Service are deciding between two broad route corridors - one to the north and one to the south of the village. There have been suggestions that a northern route could use some of the military land at Shackleton Barracks to reduce costs, but in practice the amount of such land in the northern corridor is actually quite small (no more than 15% of the route). The map below shows the limits of the route corridors being considered. The final route will likely lie somewhere within the area indicated on this Google Earth screenshot (existing A2 in yellow):

Background

The draft Northern Area Plan 2016, which was published in 2005, says "the proposed Ballykelly by-pass will, when constructed, provide a 7 kilometre single carriageway road taking the bulk of through traffic away from the village, thereby considerably improving environmental conditions". However it was not included in the Regional Strategic Transport Network Transport Plan 2015 (published in 2004) which shapes the road building policy for the province up to 2015, due to lack of money. This meant that it would not be constructed before 2015.

However on 31 July 2006, the Department for Regional Development published a consultation document "Expanding the Strategic Road Improvement Programme" which envisaged an additional £400m over and above the £1bn already earmarked for this period. The go-ahead was given two years later in April 2008 with construction timetabled for the period 2013-2018. The government also tentatively suggested that a Greysteel Bypass (joining the west of the Ballykelly Bypass) may be on the cards after 2015.

Progress

23 May 2008: The public consultation two weeks ago revealed the broad area within which the route will eventually lie. The Google Earth map shown above is based on the map that was on display at th event. No date for an announcement of the final route has been set, and construction is still up to ten years away.

5 May 2008: The document "Investment Delivery Plan for Roads" released in April 2008 has granted approval to progress this plan (which hitherto had just been a proposal) through the legal and design stages. Construction is due in the period 2013 to 2018 (ie within 5 to 10 years). Public consultation events will be held in the Drummond Hotel in Ballykelly between 3pm and 9pm on Wed 7 May 2008, and between 10am and 9pm on Thu 8 May 2008. All those with an interest in the scheme should be encouraged to attend as this is one of the few opportunities to have your opinions heard.

3 Mar 2008: According to one of these written answers, a commission to develop a "Preferred Option Scheme Assessment" was appointed in December 2007. This basically comes up with the various options that are available. This will lead to a public information day in April or May 2008 when the public will be able to give their views.