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MEA Council continues to monitor developments on UK Connectivity Review

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council is continuing to monitor developments as the UK Connectivity Review progresses.

The purpose of this review is to examine how best to improve road, rail, air and sea links between all four UK regions and to bring forward funding to accelerate infrastructure projects. Mayor of Mid and East Antrim, Councillor Peter Johnston said:

“We believe that the links between the regions of the United Kingdom are of the utmost economic, social and cultural importance.

“As a Council we have placed the promotion of ‘Sustainable Jobs and Tourism’ at the heart of our Corporate Plan for 2019-2023. We want to ensure that flow between East and West is easier, cheaper and supportive of our ‘just in time’ supply chain and we made clear in our response that good connectivity across the UK will be key in delivering our aspirations for the Borough.”

Back in January, Elected Members approved Council’s response to a call for evidence with Sir Peter Hendy publishing the ‘Union Connectivity Review Interim Report’ last month, which made specific reference to Mid and East Antrim, noting the Borough as having one of the highest productivity levels across the UK.

To jump-start some of the projects identified by Sir Peter Hendy, the UK Government has committed £20 million towards exploring the development of certain projects one of which is upgrading the A75 between Gretna, Dumfries and Stranraer, a key route for south-west Scotland and Northern Ireland but almost entirely single-carriageway.

Cllr Johnston continued:

“One of the key areas of the North Channel Partnership and the A75/A77 action groups has been on highlighting the need for strategic investment in the A75 and A77 roads. Therefore, as a Council we will be engaging with the UK Government in relation to securing a portion of the £20m investment towards the upgrading of A77/A75 roads.

“Council will also continue to work with key players to ensure Northern Ireland get its fair share of resources to improve the prospects of the region and its people.”

The final report will be submitted to the UK Government this summer highlighting a number of recommendations for future investment in transport between the nations of the UK.

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