UPDATED: Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce has waded into the row over the axing of the A5 motorway.
A statement says the road infrastructure in the North West is abysmal and this announcement has come as a devastating blow to the entire North West.
Chamber President, Patrick McGinley on hearing the news said “Letterkenny Chamber and our colleagues across the North West have lobbied for this road for many years. Over the last two years we have repeatedly been told by elected representatives and Ministers that it would go ahead.
“This news once again shows that the North West is being disregarded and ignored. We cannot hope to attract future investment when the roads infrastructure is so far below European standards.
“Every other region is linked with Dublin by Motorway and rail yet Donegal is left out of the jigsaw.
“The upgrade of this road has been on the agenda for a number of years and €38m has already been spent which is now wasted.
“You only have to look at the map to see its importance. We will not accept this decision without a fight. This project must be put back on track immediately. “
Toni Forrester, Chamber CEO reiterates the President’s concerns.
“We were always concerned that the NI Executive was going to pull out of this deal and to find that it is actually the Irish Government pulling the plug is just astounding.
“Time and again we were told not to worry, that the road project would be going ahead and we would be driving on it in 2015. I would guess that the possibility of us driving on this road in the next 15 or 20 years is a very remote possibility. This is bad news for Letterkenny and the North West region as a whole.
“We are repeatedly told by inward investment companies that good infrastructure is crucial. To sell this region without a decent road network make it even more of an uphill struggle.
“This region was starved of investment during the boom and it is still being discriminated against now. This project will remain high on our agenda and we call on our members and individual’s to lobby their elected representatives to get our fair share for the North West.”
Donegal North East Fianna Fáil TD Charlie McConalogue has demanded a Dáil debate on the future of the A5 Derry to Aughnacloy road, following reports that the Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar plans to abandon the project.
Deputy McConalogue has warned of the profound economic and political consequences of such a move. He said the Government is undoing years of extensive worka nd cooperation with the Northern Executive on what is crucial road project for the North West.
Deputy McConalogue said: “The Government has essentially shattered years of work and cooperation in the space of one afternoon yesterday. After hearing reports that Minister Varadkar plans to shelve the A5, the North’s Finance Minister Sammy Wilson has said the funding due to be provided by the Stormont Executive will now be spent elsewhere.
“The damage of such a decision is profound. The A5 upgrade project was agreed in 2006 and the previous Government committed to providing the funding to complete the project by 2015. Fine Gael and Labour vowed to honour these commitments of to make this project a reality. Now this appears to be joining a long list of broken promises from this Government, in a move that will undermine the years of North-South cooperation that have gone into these projects.
“We need to have an urgent Dáil debate on this matter. For the Fine Gael and Labour coalition to unilaterally scrap this project without any agreement with Stormont or any cross-party input is, quite simply, a disgrace.
“I am also urging the Stormont Executive to take the funding they have set aside for this project and sit down with the Taoiseach.”Tags: