NONE of the money set aside for the shelved new A5 road is coming to Fermanagh – and a local MLA has asked, why not?
The A5 road, which was to go through Omagh from Ballygawley to Derry, was shelved earlier this year.
The UUP’s Tom Elliott has questioned why none of the money went towards the A32 Enniskillen to Omagh road, the route to and from the South West Acute Hospital.
“I appreciate that some of the re-distributed Roads Service money has gone to resurfacing of roads,” he said.
“However, the A32 Enniskillen-Omagh road must surely be a priority, given the essential need for a better road infrastructure owing to the large area serviced by the South West Acute hospital.”
A spokesman for the department of regional development (DRD), said that it was in the department’s remit to retain the funding.
“The A5 funding was received specifically for a dual carriageway upgrade to that route. It is not therefore within the Department’s remit to retain this funding and the surplus was declared to DFP (department of finance and personnel)as a reduced requirement.
“This was then reallocated across the Northern Ireland block. There are many competing priorities for additional funding, and the roads programme must compete along with other spending programmes.”
However, Mr Elliott remains unconvinced.
“While some work has been carried out to the road (A32), other improvements had been planned but were shelved some time ago for reasons unknown to me.
“Given the re-distribution of A5 money for this financial year it would have been a great opportunity for the A32 improvements to be put back in place.”
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