Alliance Infrastructure Spokesperson, Kellie Armstrong MLA, has said she will be seeking urgent clarification as to why the Department has decided not to defend a legal challenge that lead to Mr Justice McCloskey making the order to quash the original approval for the A5.
Questioning what’s next for the West, Kellie said “the A5 is a key access route. While I sympathise with local objectors, I recognise the opportunities that arise from better connectivity. I sincerely hope this project will not be mothballed and will be pushing the Department to seek a new solution as quickly as possible”
She added: “The decision means the capital investment allocated to the A5 cannot be spent. I am due to meet the Department and will be seeking clarification regarding how or if that investment can be reprofiled. I am very disappointed that the shelving of this project will mean the £75m external investment provided by the Irish Government will not be able to be used. This is a significant loss to our local economy and a hit to our construction industry.
“Additionally this proves what Alliance has long feared, that the guidance provided for civil servants by the Secretary of State does not provide enough protection to enable strategic decisions to be taken. I sincerely hope this is not the first of a long list of essential projects that will not proceed due to a lack of Ministerial decision making.
“Yet again this points to the abject failure of the UK Government to recognise that the longer the NI Executive fails to meet, the more public services and opportunities are being lost. It is time for the Secretary of State to enable Talks to be reconvened with an independent facilitator in place to manage and drive the process forward.”