Belfast Telegraph

An A5 public inquiry is the route to go: McCrossan

The SDLP's Daniel McCrossan
The SDLP's Daniel McCrossan
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

The Department for Infrastructure's decision to hold a public inquiry into the proposed upgrade of the A5 Western Transport Corridor has been welcomed by an MLA.

The SDLP's Daniel McCrossan said the development would ensure that another legal challenge into the scheme would not happen, stalling the project, which will see the road network from Londonderry to the border with the Republic at Aughnacloy upgraded to a dual carriageway.

First announced in 2007, the scheme has since hit a number of stumbling blocks, including from umbrella group, Alternative A5 Alliance, whose members include farmers whose land will be affected by the route.

The group mounted a number of legal challenges, including one opposing the department's decision to allow work to begin at Newbuildings, Londonderry in the absence of a Minister, which concluded last November.

However, the Department for Infrastructure said it hopes this latest public inquiry will pave the way to a final decision on the scheme.

Mr McCrossan said this was the right way to go and encouraged people to contribute to the inquiry.

"The people across the North West and West of this province have been crying out for this road. Not only because of connectivity and jobs, but also because it will save lives. Over 15 people have lost their lives on what has become one of Ireland's most dangerous roads," said Mr McCrossan.

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No one was available from the Alternative A5 Alliance when contacted by this newspaper.

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