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Transport Sectoral Format

Part of Ministerial Statement – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 12:30 pm on 11th May 2009.

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Photo of Conor Murphy Conor Murphy Sinn Féin 12:30 pm, 11th May 2009

The A5 project has started. As I said already, most people assume that road building has not commenced until workers are visible on site. A huge amount of work has been undertaken on the development of the A5 project. The first milestone was completed ahead of schedule, and we will be able to announce the preferred route in July, which is also ahead of schedule.

We have a strong commitment to this important project. The Irish Government’s financial commitment adds to the importance of the project, and it places an imperative on the Executive to ensure that they uphold their side of the bargain, as well as the imperative that is on them to ensure that the work continues.

I am satisfied with developments to date. Work is ongoing, and the preferred route corridor will be announced. After that, we will get into the statutory processes, which will take some time, and further design work will be done on the route.

Given that the Member represents a rural constituency, he will know that the A5 scheme will run through some 80 km of countryside. That means that there will be many instances in which landowners and properties will be affected. In such cases, people are entitled to proper compensation, and issues such as access to and from farms must be sorted out. There is much work to be undertaken, but I am satisfied with the progress to date and that we will continue to make good progress on the scheme.