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Transport links critical in the development of NI economy

The Freight Transport Association has welcomed the remarks made by the Northern Ireland Assembly Transport Minister Conor Murphy, contained in his speech at the recent Scottish Transport Conference in Glasgow. The minister referred to the ten year investment strategy, including £3.1 billion for roads and specifically £2.5 billion for the strategic roads network.

FTA's Head of Policy for Ireland, Tom Wilson said, 'When we last met Mr Murphy, FTA stressed the importance of dualling the remaining 14km of the A8 single carriageway on the Eastern Seaboard Corridor between Belfast and Larne. This route carries a large volume of HGVs every day and the planned dualling will make this a much safer and efficient road on which to travel. This project will see the completion of the final piece of dualling on the Eastern Seaboard Corridor, which will result in a significant and welcome improvement in the accessibility of Larne port, with a minimum standard of dual carriageway extending all the way to Newry, Dublin and beyond.'

Conor Murphy said, 'The quick, efficient and reliable movement of goods to the marketplace is vital for economic growth. To ensure that our economy remains competitive in a global market, we need to be able to move the goods we need efficiently within the region and have good connections beyond it.

'The ten year Investment Strategy to 2018 has indicated an investment of £3.1 billion in roads infrastructure, of which approximately £2.5 billion will be directed to the Strategic Road Network. This will include major schemes on the key strategic routes between Belfast and Derry, Derry and Dublin, and Larne through Belfast onto Dublin.

'The ports are accessed by the North's Eastern Seaboard Corridor. This corridor has been identified as a key transport corridor and extends from Larne through Belfast to Newry, which then leads on to Dublin.

'Over the past number of years much investment has been made in improving this corridor, which is widely recognised as the most important trade route in Ireland. This investment continues and currently we have a number of major schemes under construction.'

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