SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has said the A5 West Transport Corridor Upgrade is an SDLP priority as it must be delivered to protect lives.
Mr McCrossan spoke during an adjournment debate on the A5 in the Assembly on Wednesday.
He said all Executive parties were united behind the project and urged those pursuing legal challenges to stop blocking the project.
West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said:
“This project is a key priority for this Assembly and all of the parties are united behind it, the SDLP have been campaigning for these vital improvements for years and SDLP Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon has given her repeated commitment to seeing it delivered.
“Over the years 42 lives have been lost on this road, including four young men just last month. Since becoming an MLA I have met with bereaved families and attended the funerals of some of those killed on the A5 and experienced families anguish and pain and seen the devastation their deaths have caused. These families also have a great sense of frustration that this project has not yet come to fruition and more people continue to die.
“I believe this road is one of the most dangerous on these islands and we need to address the situation very quickly. The reality is the work has been repeatedly held up by a group who calls themselves the Alternative A5 Alliance. We do not know who they are or how they are funded, but they continue to object to these improvement works. If they have genuine concerns I would ask them to come forward and engage with myself and my colleagues to find a way to stop this blockage.
“I would urge the public to keep the faith, it’s not a matter of if – this work will be delivered, it’s just a matter of when. If we continue to see legal challenges hold it up then the reality is more people will die in the interim. Thousands of people travel this road every day, leaving people in our community worried sick for the safety of their loved ones. This Assembly is divided on many issues but we all want to see this project progressed and I am appealing to those who oppose it to withdraw their objections so work can commence as soon as possible and no more families will have to lose a loved one on this road.”