Gardiner makes a fresh call on Millennium Way

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A LOCAL Assembly member has said it would cost ‘peanuts’ to complete the long-overdue Millennium Way.

Sam Gardiner MLA has said that it would cost only between £5 million and £7.5 million to complete the remaining 440 metres of the new road from Malcolm Road to the Gilford Road.

“When you compare this to what is being spent elsewhere it is peanuts,” said Mr Gardiner.

He explained: “The DRD are sending between £50 million and £60 million widening the A2 at Greenisland, between £320 million and £350 million building the A5 from Strabane to South of Omagh/Ballygawley, between £110 million and £120 million building the Belfast to Larne dual carriageway, between £12 million and £16 million completing the A32 Cherrymount link at Enniskillen and between £6 million and £8 million realigning the A32 at Shannaragh.

“Millennium Way is comparatively inexpensive yet the road makes no sense without that final 440 metres. The whole point of the road is that last 440 metres.

“I hope that the Regional Development Minister will see his way to act on this because my understanding is that there is major slippage from the hold-ups on the A5 road in the west of the Province. Even a fraction of this money would get the Millenium Way in Lurgan competed. That completion was first promised in 1976, 36 years ago.”

Mr Gardiner was given the figures by the Regional Development Minister in response to a question at Stormont about all current and proposed major road programmes in the 2011-15 budgetary period.

A DRD Roads Service spokesperson said: “While this scheme (Millennium Way) is not included in the current budgetary period Roads Service has renewed the planning approval and is progressing the detail design of the scheme.”