Sinn Féin MP Elisha McCallion has welcomed confirmation from the Department of Infrastructure that work will begin on the construction of the Newbuildings to Strabane section of the A5 this January.
The Foyle MP said:
“I very much welcome the confirmation from the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, which was in response to an update we requested from him on October 5th.
“The Department is now moving ahead at pace; the letter provides a definitive timeline for the completion of all outstanding statutory processes between now and Christmas to allow work to commence on the Newbuildings to Strabane section of the A5 this coming January.
“As standard in departmental responses on the A5, it contains the caveat about potential further delay if any further legal challenge arises.
“The development of A5 is not only vital to improve road safety but is crucial to our economic and social future and any such challenge at this stage would represent a gross attempt to subvert the will and interests of people of this region.
“Sinn Féin ensured that the A5 was a key Programme for Government Priority, that £229 million was committed to the A5 as part of the Fresh Start Agreement (including the re-instatement of €75m for the Irish government), and we are continuing to work for the necessary finance to be secured for the completion of the entire A5 project scheme.
“As part of this, my party wrote to Irish Government Transport Minister Shane Ross TD last week requesting a meeting to discuss how the Irish government is planning to finally honour the full financial commitment it made as part of the St Andrew’s Agreement (2006) to jointly co-fund the construction of the A5 along with the Assembly Executive.”