DFI refuses to provide A6 route map

Poet Seamus Heaney
Connla Young

ROADS chiefs have refused to provide an official map to the Irish News showing potential route options for the £160m A6 project.

The Irish News asked officials at the Department for Infrastructure (DFI) to provide the map over a three-day period earlier this week.

The map was produced in 2005 to show the potential routes of the planned dual carriageway.

One map showing the route options found by the Irish News online is presented in three sections and not suitable for reproduction.

Despite several requests the DFI refused to provide a copy.

A spokeswoman for the department last night said the map was published more than a decade ago "and therefore is easily and widely accessible to the public".

Options for the road included a ‘red route’ option – which was announced as the preferred route by Stormont roads minister Chris Hazzard earlier this year – and an alternative route initially known as the ‘brown route’.

The project route has caused controversy because it cuts close to Lough Beg, an area that has featured in the poetry of Seamus Heaney.

The Irish News revealed yesterday that the poet, in a 2005 letter to former Secretary of State Peter Hain, voiced concern about the Lough Beg route.

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