SDLP West Tyrone MLA Daniel McCrossan has welcomed an update on the A5 Western Transport Corridor scheme which indicates work on the first phase of the project could begin next year.
The Department of Infrastructure has indicated that the PAC Report following the public inquiry is due to be published by the end of this year.
Subject to funding and further legal challenges the department said work on the New Buildings to Sion Mills section could start in mid-2024 with construction on the third and final section beginning in Spring 2025.
West Tyrone MLA Mr McCrossan said:
“This positive update on the progress of the A5 upgrade is the first real sight of light at the end of the tunnel after what has been over a decade of campaigning to have this important work carried out to increase road safety and save lives right across this area. We have already waited far too long for this upgrade, people here have been losing faith that it would ever happen and this update will bring renewed hope to many.
“Far too many lives have been lost on this road, with countless others seriously injured. I have met with bereaved families and saw firsthand how lives have been changed irreparably due to the loss of loved ones. That many of these families have joined the A5 campaign is a testament to their strength and courage and their involvement sent a powerful message that we would not stop until this project was completed.
“The next few months are going to be key to seeing the A5 upgrade become a reality. I would urge those who have previously opposed this work to finally stand aside for the benefit of everyone who travels on this road. We must do everything we can to save lives and improve local infrastructure which will help us to attract the jobs and investment we are crying out for.
“The SDLP has been fighting for the A5 upgrade for many years and it has been my foremost priority since becoming an MLA. I will continue to do everything I can to see this project realised, we have come so far and we must see the A5 upgrade delivered.”