A5 comments welcomed

Strabane District Council’s Chairman, Councillor Thomas Kerrigan, has welcomed the progress made on plans to improve the road between Londonderry and Dublin.

In response to the DRD Minister’s Departmental response to the public enquiry on the A5 dual carriageway project said: “Strabane District Council welcomes the Minister’s progress on this essential infrastructural investment in West Tyrone. Council has engaged in a successful lobbying campaign with the other Councils along the A5 route, to ensure that the Executive provides the funding to deliver the elements of the project progressing in the Autumn. Strabane District Council also welcomes the ongoing commitment to the completion of the section between Strabane and Omagh and we urge the Irish Government to bring forward it’s funding to ensure the completion of the project.”

“Strabane District Council is fully aware that some local residents and landowners are strongly opposed to this project because it is directly affecting their land or their property. Council would urge the Department to fully compensate those landowners affected by compulsory purchase or acquisition and to ensure that appropriate mitigation measures are put in place. Council trusts the Department will work to ensure that local landowners and residents are inconvenienced as little as possible by this project.

In the longer term, this £300 million investment will serve as a catalyst for wider economic growth. If we want Strabane District to prosper we have to build the infrastructure for us to compete effectively. It will provide a significant boost to the local economy and help to encourage inward investment. It will also improve road safety and reduce journey times.”

The A5 is one of the five key transport corridors identified in the Regional Development Strategy for Northern Ireland. These improvements will dual key transport corridors; improve road safety and reduce journey times.

The A5 dual carriageway scheme have been taken forward as a result of an agreement between the Executive and the Irish Government. The Irish Government’s decision to defer further funding for these schemes, with a commitment to provide £25 million per annum in 2015 and 2016, has required a re-evaluation of the roads programme in the current Budget period. Development of the A5 beyond this period is being considered through the structures of the North South Ministerial Council.

Both the entire Inspectors Report and Departmental Statement will be available for public viewing and inspection in deposit locations, including, appropriate Roads Service offices and District Council offices and they will also be made available on the Department’s and the project websites.