The Irish Government’s commitment to the A5 Derry to Dublin road project has been welcomed in Derry and Tyrone.
Foyle MLA Maeve McLaughlin was speaking after the Irish Government reiterated its support for the upgrade within its Infrastructure and Capital Investment plan.
“This is a key project so it is encouraging to see the Irish government continues to recognise its commitment made in the St Andrew’s Agreement.
“The upgrade of the A5 is crucial to the further development of the all-Ireland economy and would help communities all along the proposed route.
“We now need to see further progress on this project to ensure this commitment is delivered and this vital piece of infrastructure is put in place as soon as possible,” she said.
In West Tyrone SDLP MLA Joe Byrne said the A5 “is a critical scheme” for the region. He said the failure to deliver on the A5 is seen as “symbolic of the neglect of communities in the West.”
Aside from the objective benefits of a better roads network for business, it would send a powerful message that the historical neglect of these communities is coming to an end.
“Only today in the Assembly, my party colleagues pressed hard for the introduction of a City Deal for Derry. Such a move would necessitate an upgrade of the A5 as we set a course for the North/West regional economy and tackle the issues which have held our towns and cities back for so long.
“It is now imperative that the Executive takes action without delay to progress the plans and that we see work begin on this critical scheme,” he said.