The Freight Transport Association, the leading body representing the logistics industry, has welcomed today’s appointment of a consortium to deliver the A6 dual carriageway scheme between Derry and Dungiven.
This is one of the last Stormont executive’s flagship projects and, according to Seamus Leheny of FTA, will provide a welcome boost to the region’s freight operators: “In today’s ‘just in time’ economy, it is vital that freight can be moved swiftly and efficiently across Northern Ireland, without holdups,” he said, “and with the increased pressure of Brexit now only a year away, it is crucial that local business can maintain its reliability and competitiveness through an efficient supply chain. With an upgrade already under way on the section between Randalstown and Castledawson, the news that this section of the A6 is finally to be dualled is great news for those responsible for keeping the region trading, ensuring more reliability on delivery times and helping to keep costly delays to a minimum.
“FTA’s members, those responsible for keeping manufacturing and retail businesses stocked with the products they need, have been urging the administration to provide an upgraded road for some time now, not least because this is a key strategic route for the logistics sector. This road carries the overwhelming majority of freight bound to and from the North West, and to hear that work is expected to start imminently is great news. What is now imperative is that delays during construction are kept to a minimum, so that time-critical freight can continue to reach its customers on time.”
Contractors Sacyr, Wills Bros and Somague have been appointed to the £220m project and work is expected to begin in the next few weeks. Upgrading the 25.5km section of road will take up to four years to complete.
Efficient logistics is vital to keep Britain trading, directly having an impact on more than seven million people employed in the making, selling and moving of goods. With Brexit, new technology and other disruptive forces driving change in the way goods move across borders and through the supply chain, logistics has never been more important to UK plc. A champion and challenger, FTA speaks to Government with one voice on behalf of the whole sector, with members from the road, rail, sea and air industries, as well as the buyers of freight services such as retailers and manufacturers.