Call made for ‘Sperrin spine’ road

Magherafelt bypass nearing completion
Magherafelt bypass nearing completion

A Magherafelt councillor has

called for the creation of a ‘Sperrin spine’ road, linking Northern Ireland’s two motorways.

And Councillor George Shiels said the strategy employed in getting the town’s £35m by-pass can be a blueprint for all of Mid Ulster.

He said such link road would be economically beneficial to Mid Ulster and Northern Ireland as a whole.

“I am currently talking to Department for Infrastructure officials, hammering home the point that a backbone, or a ‘Route 66’ if you like, running through Mid Ulster is essential to the future prosperity of Northern Ireland,” he told the Mail.

“The completion of this spine is essential as these roads can be likened to the spokes of a wheel - Mid Ulster is where the spokes meet the hub.

“Eventually this Sperrin spine, leading from the M22 at Randalstown with bypasses at Magherafelt and ultimately at Moneymore/Cookstown and a proper by-pass serving Dungannon will link the M2 with the M1.”

He said with the good road leading to Ballygawley and the A6 scheduled for upgrading and bringing tourists over the Glenshane Pass the economy and quality of life “can only improve big time.”

Councillor Shiels said it is no exaggeration to claim that he took the lead in the successful outcome of the Magherafelt by-pass.

“Indeed the strategy employed for Magherafelt with support from a few councillors and the enlightened members of Magherafelt Business Forum can be a blueprint for all of Mid Ulster,” he stressed.

Continuing, he gave his backing and full support to party colleague Councillor Walter Cuddy in his quest to deliver a by-pass for Dungannon.

“He doggedly sticks to his script and it’s obvious he has intense passion for the growing economic prosperity and increasing quality of life of his town and its people,” he said.

“All of this is dependant on the construction of a by-pass, a proper by-pass, not a town through-pass.”

Councillor Shiels added that for his blueprint of a roads improvement strategy in Mid Ulster to come about it required the support and backing of all the political groupings on the council.