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A5 relegated to "Halfpenny Place" in road service proposals

9 October, 2006

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty has described DRD Road Services proposals for road infrastructure development up until 2015 as once again relegating the A5 Key Transport Corridor to the "halfpenny place" in comparison to other routes designated as Key Transport Corridors.

The local MP, in his submission to the Roads Service's "Expanding the Strategic Road Improvement Programme 2015-Consultation Process" which closed on the 29th September, said that a joint approach by both Governments is now required to bring the A5 route, linking Derry, the fourth largest city on the island, Donegal, Strabane and Omagh with Dublin and Belfast, to a uniform motorway/dual carriageway standard.

Mr Doherty said,

"The DRD Road Service proposals up until 2015 have once again relegated the A5 route to the "Halfpenny Place."

"Instead of the pressing socio-economic imperative to develop the A5 route to a uniform high quality dual carriageway standard at least, in line with both existing road infrastructure and proposed road infrastructure development for other routes designated as Key Transport Corridors on the island, Road Service has once again adopted an unnecessarily minimalist approach.

"While we have been promised a 2+1 standard roads scheme between Derry and Victoria Bridge there is no proposals within the Strategic Road Improvement Programme to carry on this uniformity of route between Victoria Bridge and Auchnacloy. The rejection of the proposed Omagh By-Pass is also indicative of this disjointed development.

"In my submission, I have also expressed concern about the absence of any manifestation of the integrated intergovernmental approach that is supposed to be in place to tackle problem of the transport infrastructure deficit in the North West and the Border Counties.

"For example, it is my understanding that the Department of Transport and Roads Service have recently furnished relevant Ministers with an options appraisal of potential areas of co-operation in respect of cross-border road infrastructure development. Given the potential which exists to secure additional European infrastructural funds in respect of a joint development proposal from both governments, the minimalist plans for the development of the A5 are short-sighted.

"In view of these considerations, and also in view of the need to take equality considerations on board, I have submitted the view to Road's Service that a joint approach is now urgently required from both governments to ensure that development of the A5 is of equivalent standard to that of other designated Key Transport Corridors and that this is done within a clearly defined timeframe." ENDS

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