Roads Minister will circulate A5 paper to colleagues soon

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Roads Minister Danny Kennedy says recent fatalities on the A5 are of great concern and that he intends circulating a paper on the overall western transport corridor project to colleagues shortly.

He was pressed on the matter by Sinn Féin West Tyrone MLA Michaela Boyle.

She asked: “Following on from another death on the A5 road, when he will bring a paper on the A5 road project to the Executive?”

The Minister responded: “The recent fatalities on all our roads, including the recent tragedy on the A5 route, are of great concern to us all and my sympathies go out to the families impacted by these tragic events.

“In relation to the A5 project, I can advise that it is my intention to circulate a paper on this scheme to Executive colleagues in the coming weeks.”

Last year the Roads Minister said a new public inquiry on the proposed new road scheme was likely by this summer.

He stated in September: “Clearly, there are ongoing issues that we have to deal with on environmental statements and the appropriate assessments, and I outlined those in some detail.

“In a letter to ministerial colleagues in February, I provided an outline programme whereby the environmental statement and the draft orders would be published for consultation in November 2014, with the possibility of a public inquiry in spring/summer 2015.”

Four years ago Roads Service projected the annual average daily traffic flow on the A5 Western Transport Corridor (WTC) between Londonderry and Strabane would increase from 12,030 vehicles in 2007 to 22,200 in 2015.

The roads authority believes the amount of vehicles using the road will have more than doubled to 26,000 by 2030.

The A5 is one of the five key transport corridors identified in the NI Regional Development Strategy.