The Freight Transport Association has welcomed the announcement today (1 May) by Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy of his decision to proceed with the £100 million A8 Belfast to Larne dual carriageway scheme.
Tom Wilson, FTA’s General Manager – Ireland said,
"The A8 is a vital trade route and one which has lacked the capacity to cope with the sheer volume of lorries that rely on this important route to reach Larne Port. It is an essential link in the supply chain between businesses on the island of Ireland and large freight hubs in northern England and Scotland.
"This short sea crossing is preferred for urgent ‘next day’ inward deliveries of a wide variety of items required for production lines and domestic consumption, but also for deliveries of fresh food products into the GB marketplace. These services are often only achievable through the use of this short sea crossing."
At present there are often long tailbacks 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 A8 fit for purpose and will make a major contribution to road safety."