Local politicians have united in welcoming an announcement that the multi-million pound upgrade of the A26 is to proceed.
The scheme will see 7km dualled from Glarryford to the A44 Drones Road junction where traffic for Ballycastle diverts.
Ulster Unionist MLA Robin Swann said: “This announcement by the Minister is welcome especially given his personal commitment to the project from he first took up office. It has taken some time to convince the DUP Finance Minister of the value of the project both in terms of promoting safety on our roads and the need to improve infrastructure in high demand tourist areas such as North Antrim.
“There was some concern that the project had been shelved. Thankfully, on this occasion, common sense has prevailed thanks to the Ulster Unionist Minister’s drive and commitment and I and the people of North Antrim look forward to an early start and completion of the project.”
North Antrim MLA Daithí McKay described the Executive’s agreement to allocate £8.1million to the upgrade as “good news for road safety, good news for commuters and good news for the construction sector”.
He said: “This will help reduce the risk of serious accidents something that there is a history of along this route. For years I have called on the DRD Minister to prioritise this work given the fact that it is a black spot in terms of fatal accidents in recent years and also because of the economic benefits that it would provide.
“This is, I would argue, the worst stretch of road between Belfast and the north coast, even between Dublin and the north coast most of which is dualled,” said Mr McKay.