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Delays in the A5 upgrade project could cost lives - Begley

25 May, 2020 - by Órfhlaith Begley

Sinn Féin MP Órfhlaith Begley has said that delays in the A5 upgrade project could cost lives. 

Speaking after Infrastructure Minister Nicola Mallon said there was a shortfall in her budget for the project, the West Tyrone MP said: 

“The Infrastructure Minister must give priority to the A5 when spending her budget allocation.

“Simon Coveney, as Tánaiste, had also given a firm commitment to myself at the Good Friday Agreement committee, that the Irish government would not be found wanting in terms of funding. This commitment was then reinforced in the New Decade New Approach document. 

“I would urge the Infrastructure Minister to follow up on this commitment by the Irish government and to prioritise the allocation of her spending towards this executive flagship project, which is crucial to addressing the years of underinvestment and tackling regional imbalance.

“Delivery in the A5 is key to addressing regional inequality. 

“It is also necessary in order to improve road safety. This road is currently one of the most dangerous roads on this island. Already too many lives have been lost. 

“Minister Mallon has advised there has been an element of spillage on the A5 and A6 projects, with phase 1a of the A5 project from Newbuildings to Strabane, not likely to start until next Spring. 

“I had attended the Public Inquiry which concluded in taking evidence in mid March. I am alarmed at the lack of progress from then.

“Delays in this upgrade will ultimately cost lives. I have written to Minister Mallon to request an urgent meeting. I will use this opportunity to reiterate the need for construction to begin without delay." 

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