Mallon reaffirms commitment to A5 after meeting families of road crash victims
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Ms. Mallon said she recently met with the loved ones of road traffic victims on the southern stretch of the A5.
"I have had the very moving opportunity to meet families who have tragically lost a loved one on that stretch of road. That was an important opportunity for me to hear at first hand their experience and the experiences of the local community as they try to go about their everyday business while living in close proximity to a key transport corridor," said Ms. Mallon.
"Last week, I published the new environmental statement addendum and associated documentation as the next vital steps for the progression of the A5 dual carriageway scheme. That commenced a consultation process that is open until May 6. I encourage anyone with an interest in this significant project to make their views known during the consultation period."
The minister said Phase 1A of the road between Newbuildings and Strabane will be the first to get under way. She said the entire project could still be completed by 2028.
"I have published the new addendum and the associated documentation. The public consultation process is under way and will run to May 6.
"As Minister for Infrastructure, I have no authority over when the Planning Appeals Commission (PAC) will reconvene the public inquiry, but it is hoped that it can take place later this year. My officials have been in discussions with the PAC to secure an early date for that.
Cyclists and pedestrians can travel safely from Dungiven to Drumahoe: Mallon"Receipt of the PAC's final report from the inquiry should allow a new ministerial decision to be taken. Subject to the successful completion of all the necessary statutory processes and environmental assessments, the construction of phase 1A could commence later that year.
"In recent years, the programme for scheme delivery has referred to full scheme completion by 2028. Although some slippage has occurred, that time frame remains achievable. Certainly, I have instructed my officials to work to that time frame," she said.