West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Welcome for A5 Progress following meeting with DRD Minister

Published: 12 January, 2015

Sinn Féin Cllr Maolíosa Mc Hugh has described confirmation from DRD Minister Danny Kennedy that it is his intention to publish the new Environmental Statement and the Draft Vesting and Direction Orders for the A5 dual carriageway as 'significant progress'.

He was speaking following a cross border/cross party meeting with the minister on Thursday. Councillors and senior officials from Derry City and Strabane District Council, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Mid Ulster Council and Donegal County Council united to lobby the minister on the need to progress the A5 and a number of other key strategic infrastructural projects and investment issues for the North West region.

Cllr Mc Hugh, who chaired the meeting in his capacity as Presiding Councillor of Derry City and Strabane District Council said,

"It was important that the collective voice of our Councils, representing more than half a million people, demanding progress on the stalled A5 and other infrastructure issues development of strategic importance to this region be discussed directly with the Minister. The Minister re-iterated his commitment to the A5, the A6 and to the development of rail in the northwest and acknowledged their importance in redressing the infrastructure deficit in the region and in turn, their importance for economic development and job creation.

"In this context, we view as 'significant progress' the Minister's signalled intention to publish the new Environmental Statement and the Draft Vesting and Direction Orders for the A5 Dual Carriageway following discussion in the Executive.

"These are key project milestones which should happen in the next few weeks and this will be followed by 6 weeks of public consultation. During this consultation we are urging a massive response in support of the A5 dual carriageway in terms of submissions and for demands that it proceeds to construction in early 2016.

"In the Assembly Executive, Sinn Fein Ministers will be also keeping the pressure up to ensure the construction phase can begin at the earliest possible date. "