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Announcement of North West-Dublin motorway/dual carriageway proposal expected in National Development Plan

12 December, 2006

West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty says that there are clear indications that the Dublin government has now been forced to amend its National Development Plan, which is scheduled to be published on January 19th, to include substantial investment in the main N14, A5, N2 route from the North West to Dublin so to bring it up to a standard comparable to other routes that are similarly designated as key strategic transport corridors on the island.

Mr Doherty said,

"It is clear that the vigorous ongoing campaign by Sinn Fein on a national basis and by local authorities and cross-border groups in the northwest and border counties has forced the Dublin government to amend its National Development Plan, to accede to the growing demand to redress the transport infrastructure deficit in the northwest part of Ireland.

"One Dublin government Minister based in Donegal went on record last week to say that the Cabinet has now agreed that the N14, A5,N2 route will be accorded motorway status in the amended National Development Plan while there are other conflicting reports that it will be accorded Dual carriageway status. Despite the mixed signals I nonetheless welcome this u-turn and will be eagerly awaiting the publication of the Plan next month to ascertain the envisaged timescale and investment outlay for the proposed route upgrade between the northwest and Dublin.

"Sinn Féin has been continually pushing and will continue to push both governments for a substantial Peace Dividend, not least, so as redress the infrastructure deficit west of the Bann and in the Border Counties. In October, the Dublin government confirmed that for the first time it would include a spend of €1 Billion on infrastructure investment in the six counties as part of its National Development Plan 2007-2013 with the upgrading of the A5 Derry to Aughnacloy being one of the key projects being earmarked for investment.

"If, as it now appears, the Dublin government is prepared to make a substantial investment in this key strategic transport corridor from the North West to Dublin then I view this development as being very significant.

"However, the potential to overcome one of the most glaring infrastructural deficits on the island of Ireland will only be realised if the British government also agree to play ball and step up to the plate with its own financial package for this and other essential infrastructural projects. To date the British government has not committed itself to anything resembling a proper Peace Dividend never mind a specific commitment to jointly finance the development of the North West to Dublin route. However, I fear that unless the British government are forced into this commitment, the Dublin government may feel that they have a way out of the commitments that they are now being forced to make." ENDS

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