In response to the opening of seven kilometres of the new A6 dual carriageway, Seamus Leheny, Policy Manager for Northern Ireland at FTA, commented:
“As the organisation representing the UK’s logistics sector, FTA campaigned for the dualling of the A6 for several years; we are so pleased that a seven kilometre stretch of the new carriageway is opening to traffic today (Monday 5 August). Our members in Northern Ireland are deeply affected by the congestion and delay issues along this vital stretch of highway; the new carriageway will provide businesses with the journey time certainty and reliability they need to operate effectively. And with the cost of running a 44-tonne lorry and trailer sitting at just over £1 per minute, less time spent in traffic will also help to reduce operating costs for businesses.
“The improved highway will unlock new opportunities for investment and economic growth in the North West and Mid Ulster; after all, the ability to bring goods to market efficiently and inexpensively is a key criterion in attracting new business. And as the vast majority of freight moving along the A6 transits via Belfast and Larne Ports, the resulting improved reliability of journey time will benefit North West and Mid Ulster connectivity to Great Britain and the rest of Europe.
“The maximum speed limit for goods vehicles on the carriageway will increase from 40mph on the old road to 50mph, thus preventing the long tailbacks which have caused frustration for other road users along the previous single lane road; overtaking will also be easier and safer on a dual carriageway.
“The new carriageway will help logistics operators provide the reliable service that manufacturers, retailers, and other movers of freight require to keep their businesses trading with reduced costs, increased road safety, and improved prospects of inward investment for Northern Ireland; it is brilliant news for business across the North West and Mid Ulster.”
Efficient logistics is vital to keep the UK 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.