Over 40 lives lost since A5 Derry - Dublin road project announced

A Derry & Strabane Councillor has spoken of how over 40 people have lost their lives on the A5 since it was announced that the road was to be upgraded back in 2006.

SDLP Councillor Steven Edwards was speaking as Derry City and Strabane Council reaffirmed their support for the long-awaited road scheme.

The Council will now write to the Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd and his southern counterpart, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan urging them to progress the scheme as soon as possible.

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The A5 upgrade would see the route from Derry to the border at Aughnacloy transformed into a dual carriageway.The scheme, which is estimated to cost around £1.2bn, would be the largest single road scheme in Northern Ireland’s history,The matter was raised at a special meeting of the Environment and Regeneration Committee by SDLP councillor Steven Edwards who said: “You will know of the importance of the A5 scheme to the North West and the reasons to progress this scheme have been well rehearsed in this chamber.“For me, most importantly is the safety upgrades the A5 scheme would provide. Since 2006 when the scheme was first announced over 40 lives lost on the A5 and I do have confirmation from the Minister that the new scheme would substantially reduce that.“As people are aware the A5 has been blighted with delays with a multitude of reasons for that – legal challenges, no Minister in place and then recently the need to re-consult over environmental impact statements and there is also a public consultation this year. But against this backdrop I do think it’s important we proceed towards consultation that council does reaffirm its position and support for the A5 scheme.”

The A5. (Image: Google Earth)

Councillor Edwards’ proposal ‘That council reaffirms its support for the A5 Western Transport Corridor scheme, recognises the importance of this road scheme in saving lives, for increasing connectivity and providing a much needed boost to the locally economy and writes to the Infrastructure Minister John O’Dowd along with his counterpart in the Irish Government, Transport Minister Eamon Ryan urging them to progress the scheme as soon as possible’, passed unanimously.

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Gillian Anderson,

Local Democracy Reporter.

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The A5 dualling project was first announced back in 2006.