West Tyrone Sinn Féin Assembly member, Declan Mc Aleer has welcomed confirmation from Roads Minister Danny Kennedy that the A5 scheme is ‘delayed’ and not ‘abandoned’ and that the assessment dealing with the EU Habitats Directive is on-going.
Speaking after questioning the Minister during question time on Monday Mr McAleer said,
“The A5 dual carriageway project has the overwhelming support of the people, not only in the North West but right throughout the country. The delay in its construction has caused widespread frustration to the thousands of people who use the road each day and to those of us who recognise the potential of the A5 Western Transport Corridor to develop the North West and redress the infrastructural deficit west of the Bann.
“I welcome the Ministers comment that the scheme was ‘delayed’ and not ‘abandoned’, that it remains an Executive priority and that the necessary assessment in respect of the EU Habitat Directive is on-going. Minister Kennedy also confirmed that this would be subject to a public consultation and possibly a public inquiry.
“However, I do intend to probe the Minister further in respect of anticipated time scales for completion of the next steps. The A5 Western Transport Corridor is the single biggest infrastructural project in this part of the country, it is essential that we collectively keep a firm focus on the project given its huge economic and social importance.”