Local politicians from Derry and Strabane are asking the Roads’ Minister Danny Kennedy to outline his Department’s programme for the construction of A5 dual-carriageway.
The Derry and Strabane Statutory Transition Committee, made up of Councillors from both areas, supported a proposal from Sinn Féin Councillor Barney O’Hagan to write to the Minister to request a clear statement outlining his Department’s programme for the road, the northern part of the Derry-Dublin route.
Cllr O’Hagan said that in a recent correspondence the Minister indicated that public consultation exercises on the project would not commence until Spring 2014.
Councillor O’Hagan went on: “While Minister Kennedy’s response reiterated DRD’s and the Executives commitment to the A5 Western Transport Corridor, it has also raised a number of questions which need to be addressed.
“Work on the Appropriate Assessment has been ongoing since the spring, The Minister has failed to say when he will be in a position to sign off on this assessment but goes on to state that a public consultation on the Appropriate Assessment is expected to take place in the spring of 2014.
“The Minister has also revealed that a review of the Environmental Statement has taken place and an addendum to the Environmental Statement will be published. I understand that this will also be subject to a public consultation, which may explain why his letter referred in the plural to consultation exercises, but this needs clarity.
“This latest correspondence from Minister Kennedy has raised more questions that it has answered. Therefore, we request that he makes a clear statement that outlines the next steps and indicative timeline for commencing work and completion of the A5 Western Transport Corridor. The people of the West and the beleaguered construction industry deserve answers.”
The Statutory Transition Committee has been set up to prepare for the new council covering both Derry and Strabane. Its first meeting was in July.