EASTLondonderry MP Gregory Campbell invited the new Finance Minister Simon Hamilton MLA to view the A26 as he embarked upon his first official round of engagements as minister in Coleraine last week.
The MP met with the new minister outside Coleraine and told him it was “imperative” that the road be upgraded.
Mr Campbell also said that a better roads infrastucture was vital for local business and tourism on the north coast.
In a statement, Mr Campbell said: ““ I invited the new Finance Minister Simon Hamilton MLA along with local Business representatives to see the problems on A26 and highlight the need to upgrade this road more quickly.
“I, and others have been campaigning over many years both at Westminster and in the Northern Ireland Assembly that given the increase in traffic volume that has been recorded over these years together with efforts that have been made to regenerate Coleraine and the towns of the North Coast, which also attracts international events, it is imperative for business and tourism that the essential road infrastructure is in place.
“I have asked Mr Hamilton to support the progress of upgrading the A26 as soon as possible by lobbying the DRD Roads Minister to make funding available for this vital road link to the North Coast when the review of capital spending on roads is considered.”
Also attending the roadside meeting was the new President of Causeway Chamber of Commerce, Ian Donaghey MBE.
He said:“Causeway Chamber is continually lobbying our MP and elected representatives to ensure that the A26 is top of the agenda in Stormont for when money is readily available to commence this much needed upgrade.
“Upgrading of the A26 will allow local businesses to connect to the island of Ireland and beyond whilst demonstrating to potential investors that we have efficient road infrastructure and good transport links in our region.”
In May Divisional Roads Manager, Mrs Deirdre Mackle told councillors at a Roads Programme Consultation meeting that she is ‘optimistic’ that the A26 dualling project will be one of those the Minister will recommend be taken forward.