SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has said a decision to progress the A5 Western Transport Corridor scheme must be made imminently.
He was speaking after receiving confirmation from the Department for Infrastructure that they were considering the Planning Appeals Commission report and options on next steps were being developed.
The department’s Permanent Secretary said a Minister or Senior Civil Servant would ultimately make the decision whether to go ahead with the project, subject to funding.
West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said:
“I welcome confirmation from the Permanent Secretary that things are progressing and that the next steps for the A5 project should be known imminently. The lengthy progress to get us here as been a source of immense frustration to people living in this area, who know what the A5 means in terms of road safety and boosting the local economy.
“After all the hard work, sweat and tears it has taken us to get to this stage we need to ensure that we don’t fall at the final hurdle. We have seen far too many lives lost on this road and this has scarred families across Tyrone and further afield to the point where few of us don’t have some connection to one of the many tragedies that has taken place.
“When this process concludes in the coming weeks it will be up to a Minister or Senior Civil Servant to make a decision on whether or not the A5 goes ahead. For people living in this area, bereaved families and everyone who travels on this road it is clear that there is only one choice, to deliver the A5 as promised.
“I would much prefer that this decision was taken by a Minister in a restored Stormont Executive and if the institutions return be in no doubt that I will be using every ounce of my energy to ensure that this project goes ahead so that nobody again loses their life on the A5 and we are able to create opportunities for people living in this area.”