Northern Ireland

Danny Kennedy to wait on new A5 road inquiry

Omagh sign
Image caption Danny Kennedy said he would wait for the outcome of the public inquiry into the A5 road

Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy has said he will wait for the outcome of a public inquiry into the A5 road before making a decision on whether the project will go ahead.

The Roads Service has confirmed £35m has already been spent on project development.

Mr Kennedy said he would not be "stampeded" into a decision.

The new A5 road will run between Londonderry and Aughnacloy.

There were more than 2,000 objections to the project during the consultation period.

In February, the previous Regional Development minister Conor Murphy said the inquiry was likely to start in May and would be held at "a number of locations along the route".

The A5 project extends from New Buildings on the outskirts of Derry to the border with the Irish Republic at Aughnacloy.

The Department for Regional Development has said that at a length of 85 km, it was the largest road scheme ever undertaken in Northern Ireland.

Earlier this year, the BBC learned that hundreds of signatures objecting to the new A5 road had been duplicated.

It is also understood that scores of people had complained that they did not send objecting letters to Roads Service received in their name.

The Department for Regional Development said "the extent of duplication is difficult to define".

Thirty letters supporting the road had also been received.

The Roads Service said they were "content that the majority of the objections received are genuine".

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