Sinn Féin MP Orfhlaith Begley has asked Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon to begin two phases of the A5 simultaneously as a means of redressing the repeated slippage in the delivery of the flagship infrastructure project.
The West Tyrone MP made the proposal in a meeting she and party colleague Martina Anderson MLA held with the Minister today.
Speaking afterwards Órfhlaith Begley said:
“Sinn Féin representatives sought this meeting today on the back of announcements by the Minister that the A5 Project is more likely to begin construction next spring rather than the previous commitment of 2020 which we had previously been advised prior to public inquiry.
“The Minister said she is still waiting on the report from the Public Inquiry and when she receives this report she will need time then to consider the details of it.
“The A5 upgrade is vital to addressing regional imbalance and assisting economic recovery from Covid-19.
“An upgrade will also improve the safety of the road, which has tragically claimed 22 lives over the last seven years.
“Specifically I asked the Minister, as a means of addressing the repeated delays in the delivery of this essential project, if she would consider commencing two phases of the A5 simultaneously.
“The Minister has agreed to give consideration to this proposal.
“We also pressed the Minister to initiate a conversation with the newly formed Irish government coalition to honour its financial commitment in St Andrews to co-fund the A5 rather than the vastly reduced figure €75 million it has subsequently committed.
“Sinn Féin will continue to press the Minister to ensure the delivery of the A5 is both prioritised and expedited.”