New roads minister commits to delivery of A5 major road scheme

Sinn Fein Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard.

Photo by Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye
Sinn Fein Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard. Photo by Kelvin Boyes/Press Eye

Just two weeks after taking up office, the new Minister for Infrastructure, Chris Hazzard, has given his committment to the delivery of the A5 major road scheme.

The scheme, which has been described as the North’s biggest ever road building scheme, is scheduled to begin in 2017.

But the Times reported back in February that the project may still be entangled in at least six disputes.

The new Sinn Fein minister has included the project, along with the A6, among his main priorities while in office, to “build connectivity and unlock (the) economic potential” of the region.

He said: “During this mandate, I want to ensure there is a focus on our strategic infrastructure needs for the next 20-30 years.

“Investment in our transport and water infrastructure is a key driver for attracting investment and I intend to play my part in building economic growth for future generations.

“Programme for government commitments to improve transport connections and increase the use of public transport and active travel are areas I will be working to progress with urgency.

“In particular, building transport connections to ensure we have an infrastructure which enables economic growth across the region is key and I am committed to the delivery of the A5 and A6 major road schemes.

“To this end I will be seeking early discussions with my ministerial counterpart in the south to ensure their monetary commitment to the A5 remains intact.

“Cross-border projects outlined in the Fresh Start Agreement will also be prioritised, alongside other major improvements,” he added.

“My department has a major part to play in building a successful region by driving economic growth and tackling disadvantage, but it is also a vital component in the daily lives of all of our citizens providing vital services so important for quality of life.”