Congested A5 tops 17000 vehicles daily

Cattle graze contently on pastures which will carry the new A5 motorway.  A water drill marker, where the new road will run through, is fences off in the foreground.
Cattle graze contently on pastures which will carry the new A5 motorway. A water drill marker, where the new road will run through, is fences off in the foreground.

Road bosses have revealed that traffic volumes on one of the North’s most congested rural roads now exceeds 17,000 vehicles every day.

The amount of vehicles using the A5 daily between Aughnacloy and Derry varies from 17,400 to 12,000 along its different sections, according to the latest figures released by the Department of Regional Development.

The figures were released in the same week that the Northern Ireland Assembly confirmed that work on a new motorway to replace the A5 will commence at the start of 2017 and end in 2019.

The long delayed upgrade, predicted to be the North’s biggest ever road project, has already cost the taxpayer £72m.

This includes £15m spent since the High Court judgment in 2013, which effectively left the scheme dead in the water.

In November 2011 the Republic withdrew its £400m funding. Three months later it was announced that the project would be broken up and built in phases, before a High Court judge quashed a decision to proceed with the scheme.

Prior to the court ruling, some £56,484,595 had been spent on the A5.