McCallion gives guarded welcome to Varadkar’s €465million A5 commitment

McCallion gives guarded welcome to Varadkar’s €465million A5 commitmentelisha new head shot 2014 2

Sinn Féin Westminster candidate Elisha McCallion MLA has given a cautious welcome to the commitment by Fine Gael Leadership Candidate, Leo Varadkar TD that if successful in his bid to become Fine Gael Leader and Taoiseach he will recommit the €465milion Irish government contribution to the completion of the A5 Derry/Dublin dual Carriageway.

Elisha McCallion said:

“The A5 and A6 Routes are essential to economic development of the North West.

“Work has finally begun on the dualling of the A6 Belfast/Derry route and although Leo Varadkar’s commitment to reinstating the Irish government’s original €465million financing for the Derry/Dublin road must be taken in the context of the fact that he is in the middle of a Leadership contest, the impact it would have on economic development of Derry and Donegal cannot be underestimated.

“Therefore in that context I give it a guarded welcome. But I put Leo Varadkar on notice that if successful in his bid for Fine Gael Leadership and Taoiseach, Sinn Féin will hold him to this commitment.

“After overcoming a number of obstacles it is now expected that work will begin in the autumn on the £150 million dualling of the Derry to Strabane section of the A5. This represents the first phase of the of the dual carriageway Dublin route. Leo Varadkar’s commitment if delivered on this time would represent a massive vote of confidence for the future of the North West economy.

“The importance of this project has never been more important given the implications of BREXIT. The Derry and the North West region needs to reinforce its connections with the capital city through projects such as the A5 rather than the imposition of border tariffs and other financial penalties which Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson and others are working on daily to try to counteract by securing Designated Status for the north.

“Other projects such as the new North-West Transport Hub will compliment the work on both road projects and will be crucial in securing economic recovery for Derry by redressing the city’s historical lack of infrastructure and connectivity.

“Sinn Féin Ministers in the Assembly have been to the fore in progressing these economic building blocks for this region and following this Westminster election I will join with the other Sinn Féin MPs, TDs, MEP’s, Senators and councillors in further advancing our plans for the NW region. By voting Sinn Féin in this election you can help strengthen our negotiating position to ensure Sinn Féin representatives can maintain the pressure to deliver the infrastructural investment and job creation initiatives required for Foyle and the North West.”