End of the road for Derry motorway?

 

Sir, – The flagship scheme of cross-Border cooperation of the 2006 St Andrews Agreement was a pledge to build a Derry to Dublin motorway (“New national forensic science lab impacted by cost overrun at children’s hospital”, News, February 12th).

Since then, the scheme has been delayed, downgraded and deferred.

The biggest item in the €100 million diverted to cover the cost overruns on the national children’s hospital is the €27 million taken from this cross-Border roadlink.

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar helpfully explained in the Dáil that it’s not a deferral as there’s currently no Northern Ireland Executive in place.

However, speaking in Derry in October 2017, Mr Varadkar emphasised his “cast-iron” commitment to the road to help ameliorate the likely adverse impact of Brexit on Derry and Donegal.

He added: “I want to see that project go ahead as quickly as possible. I also believe that the completion of routes from Dublin to Derry and Donegal should be a strategic priority for governments both north and south.” – Yours, etc,

Dr JOHN DOHERTY,

Gaoth Dobhair,

Co Dhún na nGall.

Sir, – For decades the Northwest cross-Border region has been seriously impacted by both partition and the Troubles. 

Such difficulties have been compounded by decades of infrastructural neglect, and now Brexit further threatens the region’s recovery.

The upgrading of the A5 Dublin to Derry road (a stated priority of the Government’s own National Development Plan) is therefore vital to the future success of the northwest region.

In this context the Government’s recent announcement that it is withdrawing funding for this key infrastructural corridor is quite frankly incredible.

Ireland’s most vulnerable region must not be made an easy scapegoat for the Government’s own incompetence over the national children’s hospital. – Is mise,

JOHN McFEELY,

Letterkenny,

Co Donegal.