Durkan: New roads fund must be used to rebuild the North West

SDLP MLA for Foyle, Mark H Durkan.
SDLP MLA for Foyle, Mark H Durkan.

SDLP Foyle MLA Mark H Durkan has said that plans for a new roads fund announced by British Chancellor George Osborne must be used to rebuild the economy of the North West.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ moments after Mr. Osborne announced his first budget since the Conservatives formed a government in May, Mr. Durkan said that it was imperative the North West got its “fair share”.

“Among the announcements in the Tory budget today [Wednesday] was a new roads fund to build new infrastructure. In financing it, the Treasury have indicated they plan to change Vehicle Excise Duty rules to include new cars on an emissions based system.

“The Treasury must work closely with the devolved nations to implement these changes. But more importantly, we must see our fair share of roads investment as a result. New infrastructure developments in England must see Barnett Consequentials won for the North and that money must be spent rebuilding the economy in our North West. That means a new Belfast – Derry motorway and a commitment to the A5 and A6 projects.”

Mr. Durkan said he believes an improved infrastructure system would benefit Derry and stated he intended to follow the matter up with the Treasury directly.

“The economy of the North West will thrive or dive based on infrastructure development. We need to ensure that all possible resources are made available to attract new investment and create new jobs. I will pursue this matter with the Treasury as soon as possible.”