A4 Enniskillen Bypass: Update

Oral Answers to Questions — Infrastructure – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 21 March 2022.

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Photo of Colm Gildernew Colm Gildernew Sinn Féin 2:30, 21 March 2022

T1. Mr Gildernew asked the Minister for Infrastructure for an update on the A4 Enniskillen bypass. (AQT 2171/17-22)

Photo of Nichola Mallon Nichola Mallon Social Democratic and Labour Party

The Enniskillen bypass was one of the key strategic projects that I committed to take forward. Work has started on the ground, and I am sure that the Member has seen that. It is very important that the project advances. Crucial to that will be ensuring that there is the funding to do so.

I refer back to my previous comments about my frustration, which I know is shared, with the absence of an agreed Budget and the missed opportunity of having a multi-year Budget. The progress and pace of that project will be dictated by the funding that is made available to the Department.

I hope that the Member has seen that I have prioritised that project since taking up office. I am certainly pleased to see work starting on the ground.

Photo of Colm Gildernew Colm Gildernew Sinn Féin

I thank the Minister for that. Indeed, I welcome that initial works have begun, and I support your indication that we need to see sustained investment in the project. Minister, can you provide more detail about the project, such as what active travel provision is being included and when construction might start in full?

Photo of Nichola Mallon Nichola Mallon Social Democratic and Labour Party

We hope to be able to move to full procurement and construction. Of course, that is dependent on the funding that comes across in the forthcoming financial year.

On the issue of active travel, when we look at bypasses, it is very important that we do not just look at them in the very narrow sense of building a road away from a town. It is really important that we breathe life into those towns and make them places where people are comfortable and can enjoy walking and spending time shopping, visiting and socialising. Therefore, parallel to the work on the structure of the bypass — the road — my Department has taken forward a feasibility study to see what we can do to maximise the space in the town centre and revitalise it. It is very important that both aspects progress in parallel.