West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Mc Aleer welcomes ring fencing of £50m for A5 project

Published: 21 December, 2012

West Tyrone MLA Declan Mc Aleer has welcomed a commitment to ring fence £50 million of the A5 budget while a delay caused by the legal challenge is being dealt with. The assurance was given to the Finance Minister by the Chief Secretary to the Treasury.

According to Mr Mc Aleer 'We learned through the DRD committee last week that budget flexibility of up to £50 million has been secured between years to assist in managing the implications and uncertainties associated with the current delay to the A5 project.

'Under usual circumstances, any funds which are not spent by the end of the financial year must be returned to the centre. However, the key outcome of this decision is that the money will not have to go back to treasury and the £50m will not be lost to the A5 project. Importantly, it will also mean that if the legal challenge can be resolved, the contractors can start work on the road with minimal delay.

'With the full hearing scheduled to take place between 12th and 14th February, the hard pressed construction industry are watching and waiting anxiously.

Mr Mc Aleer concluded 'I am confident that the overwhelming majority of our community want the A5 project back on track. It is the best hope we have for the local economy, particularly as we face once again into another economically uncertain year ahead'.