Over 180 businesses and organisations sign open letter urging A5 upgrade

Over 180 businesses, organisations, and institutions in the North West have signed an open letter in support of the proposed upgrades to the A5 Western Transport Corridor Road Scheme.

Jointly organised by the Derry and Letterkenny Chambers of Commerce, the open letter is signed by business across Derry, Donegal, Strabane, Omagh and the wider North West.

The letter has been submitted to the Department for Infrastructure as part of its consultation and call for views on the A5 Supplementary Environmental Information, which closed on Friday, March 3.

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In the letter, businesses and organisations have called the A5 a “crucial infrastructure project for the North West” which, once completed, “will deliver stronger and better connectivity for our region.”

Derry Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Anna DohertyDerry Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Anna Doherty
Derry Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Anna Doherty

The letter also stresses the significance of the improvements from a safety perspective, with over 40 deaths having occurred on the road since the upgrades were first announced in 2006.

After submitting the open letter to the DfI, Londonderry Chamber Chief Executive Anna Doherty and Letterkenny Chamber Chief Executive Toni Forrester said in a joint statement: “The A5 is a crucial road network for the North West, connecting our region as far up as Donegal with Belfast, Dublin, and the rest of the island of Ireland.

"These upgrades were initially announced over 15 years ago so it is well beyond time that they get underway and are implemented as quickly as possible.

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Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Toni Forrester.Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Toni Forrester.
Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce Chief Executive Toni Forrester.
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“After multiple appeals, delays, and public inquiries, the people of West Tyrone and the wider North West deserve a road network which is up to date and up to modern road safety standards.

"Tragically, this road has been incredibly dangerous over the past three decades, with over 70 deaths since 1998 on the A5. While these upgrades will be crucial for our economic fortunes and will go some way to help address long-standing, historic regional imbalances, it will more fundamentally seek to address serious safety concerns and prevent further loss of life in communities which have been so tragically and so deeply impacted by these deaths in recent years.

“We are not surprised at the number of organisations who have put their names to this open letter.

"This is a matter of real, genuine concern for thousands of people in this part of our island.”