McCrossan: Clear benefits of progressing A5 scheme

daniel mccrossan A5 Road safety

SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has said that the benefits of progressing the A5 Western Transport Corridor scheme at the first opportunity are clear.

Mr McCrossan was speaking after submitting his views on the future of the project to the Department for Infrastructure following the publishing of supplementary environmental information.

He pointed to the lives that would be saved, injuries prevented and economic opportunities created as a result of seeing the project finally completed.

Mr McCrossan said:

“In my response to the department I outlined the SDLP’s clear view that this work needs to begin at the first available opportunity and that we need to pursue the plan that provides the best results for this area and the North in general. It’s deeply regrettable that we have been beset with constant delays to this project and when we finally begin work we need to make sure that we handle it in the correct way.

“Of the options put forward by DfI, it’s clear that the 'do something' proposal would most benefit people here. Forecasts believe this plan would reduce traffic congestion and journey times, while resulting in 2,733 fewer accidents resulting in 36 less fatalities and thousands of injuries avoided. I don’t think I can overstate the dear price our communities have paid while waiting for this work to be carried out, with nearly 50 families losing loved ones on the A5 since 2006. These plans will also improve safety at a number of local primary schools and for pedestrians and other road users.

“Improving our transport links will also result in significant economic opportunities for this area which has struggled to attract much needed investment in recent years. Air quality will also be improved and I accept that a number of steps will have to be taken to protect against and reduce environmental damage as a result of construction.

“I have been highlighting the desperate need for this project to be realised for many years and this report from DfI just underlines the difference it would make. I acknowledge the need to address concerns that some people have around the project and we must work with them to find positive solutions, but the benefits far outweigh any negatives and we need to proceed without any further delay.”

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