Federation welcomes A5 announcement

Commenting after the announcement by the Department for Infrastructure that construction on the A5 Western Transport Corridor scheme is to begin in early 2018, Construction Employers Federation Managing Director John Armstrong said...

“The decision announced today by the Department must be welcomed by all.

“The commencement of phase one begins the journey towards the completion of a scheme which is of significant strategic importance to the Northern Ireland economy. The direct and indirect benefits will equate to hundreds of sustainable jobs over the course of the project as well as many opportunities for the main contractors extensive supply chain.

“When you add this to the ongoing work on the A6 Randalstown – Castledawson and the tender now being live for the first phase of the A6 between Derry and Dungiven, we are looking at a period of huge investment in the infrastructure of the North West and West of Northern Ireland which has been in need for decades. Once completed, all of the schemes, with the addition of the York Street Interchange, will significantly enhance Northern Ireland’s strategic transport connectivity.

“In the context of the ongoing lack of a Northern Ireland Executive however, and even allowing for the additional capital expenditure announced for Northern Ireland by the Chancellor last week, we must remember that further progress with the Flagship projects means less resource available is available for other projects.

“The Executive’s Flagship schemes stand on their very clear economic merits. We have though consistently said that a balance must be struck in budgetary planning between how much resource is spent on these and other areas, such as roads maintenance, so to avoid a massive cliff edge for the vast majority of firms not engaged on the Flagship projects.”