Northern Ireland news

New A5 campaign group will 'gladly' accept invite to address council on need for deadly road upgrade following proposal

A5 Enough is Enough chair Niall McKenna, pictured at January's launch of the campaign group at Tyrone GAA's Garvaghey HQ.
Paul Ainsworth

CAMPAIGNERS for the long-awaited A5 upgrade have said they would "gladly" accept an invitation to present their case at Mid Ulster District Council.

Two members of the local authority have proposed the A5 Enough is Enough group speak at an upcoming meeting, to push forward the case for the A5 Western Transport Corridor project.

The campaign group, which was formed by Tyrone GAA, is calling for immediate progress on the A5 Western Transport Corridor project to create a new dual carriageway, which was first agreed by Stormont in 2007.

Since then, delays caused by legal challenges have left the project in limbo, while 44 deaths on the road have occurred since it was originally given the green light.

Independent Mid Ulster councillors Dan Kerr and Barry Monteith have called for the new campaign group to present their case at the council, and urged the local authority to show "solidarity" with the cause.

Speaking of attending the recent launch of the campaign at Tyrone GAA's headquarters in Garvaghey, Mr Kerr said: "The testimony and tales told by family members that night were very sad."

Mr Monteith said the old Dungannon and South Tyrone Borough Council had heard similar testimony from campaigners for the A4 upgrade, which was completed back in 2010 - just six years after being given the green light.

"There was a long hard fought battle by councillors to ensure the A4 situation was dealt with and the A5 is long past the same situation so I am delighted with this idea," he said.

A5 Enough is Enough chair Niall McKenna told the Irish News: "We would gladly accept an invitation to speak with the council, as a significant stretch of the A5 runs through the area and it is important that we highlight just how vital it is for progress to happen so that lives can be saved."

A public consultation on environmental information relating to the proposed 85km carriageway published by the Department for Infrastructure opened in January, while a reconvened public inquiry into the project is now expected to start in March.

Northern Ireland news