A26 ignored while £330m lavished on A5 north/south project

Responding to the £330m which the Executive is pouring into the A5 project, North Antrim MLA and TUV Leader, Jim Allister, has highlighted the injustice done by ignoring the need to further dual the A26.

In a statement Jim Allister said: “I have established through Assembly questions that the A 26 north of Glarryford carries far more traffic than the A5 and has a frightening accident record, yet in the distribution of funds for roads project £330m goes to the A5 and nothing to further dualling of the A26. And, all this without so much as a Business Case to justify the A5 spend.

“Hence, when the A5 funding was announced in the Assembly I made this point though, sadly, I was the only North Antrim MLA to complain. Provision for the A5 has always been more of a political project than a roads project. The largesse lavished on it is confirmation that in the DUP/Sinn Fein Executive what Sinn Fein wants, Sinn Fein gets.

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“Just three months ago when the Republic of Ireland withdrew its A5 funding, Minister Wilson told us through the BBC that “the road cannot be funded” and the money would have to go elsewhere. Now, he announces that we’ll build a large chunk of the A5 anyway.

“I must ask where is the Business Case for the A5 project he has approved, or is due process trumped by political expediency? Patently so. If it were not so, then, then projects such as the A26 dualling would be getting approval because it meets the traffic volume criteria , where the A5 does not.

“It was telling that when I challenged the Minister in the House as to where the A5 Business Case was he had no answer!”