Council meets with Minister for Infrastructure to discuss key infrastructure matters

2nd September 2022

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Minister for Infrastructure

Fermanagh and Omagh District Council met with the Minister for Infrastructure, Mr John O’Dowd MLA, on Wednesday 31 August 2022 to discuss key infrastructure matters.

The hybrid meeting took place in The Grange, Omagh and via WebEx and the issues discussed included the A5 Western Transports Scheme, A32 improvements, the Enniskillen Southern Bypass Scheme, flooding in the District and budget deficits.

Following the meeting, the Minister, Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Barry McElduff, the Chief Executive, the Director of Regeneration and Planning visited St Lucia Barracks to view the site and receive an update in relation to any potential plans to develop the site.

Speaking about Minister O’Dowd’s visit, the Chair of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, Councillor Barry McElduff, stated that:

“The infrastructure deficits in areas west of the Bann are well known and I am pleased that the Council has had the opportunity to engage directly with the Minister to highlight key areas of concern within the District.  The A5 Western Transport Corridor Scheme received particular attention during the discussions.

Good infrastructure is an important public asset in all communities to stimulate economic growth and development, to bring about social benefits including access to healthcare, jobs, education and social connections and to ensure all road users can travel safely and efficiently.

The Council (FODC) has prioritised the place shaping approach for the District to ensure our communities are strong and more resilient in the future.  One of the key outworkings of this project is to develop vacant and opportunity sites within Omagh and Enniskillen to ensure that our towns and villages remain vibrant and our economy is expanding, thriving and outward looking.  It welcoming that the Council had the opportunity to visit St Lucia Barracks with Minister O’Dowd to discuss how to unlock the potential of the site.”

Speaking after the meeting, Infrastructure Minister, John O’Dowd, said:

“It was a pleasure to meet with Fermanagh and Omagh District Council and to provide an update on a range of important infrastructure issues. Joined up working between central and local government is key to creating better infrastructure and enables us to better deal with strategic matters of mutual interest.

“I am determined to see the progression on the A5 Western Corridor as quickly as possible. This significant, strategic route will not only improve road safety and  help to tackle regional imbalance, it will also enhance the economy,  job prospects and prosperity, and connect communities. I hope that a reconvened public inquiry into the scheme can take place as soon as possible to allow this hugely important flagship project to move forward without further delay.  The A4 Enniskillen Bypass will help to alleviate traffic congestion in Enniskillen town centre, reduce delays, improve average journey times and road safety. I recently announced that the A32 Cornamuck Scheme is to progress to enhance connectivity between Omagh and Enniskillen and serve the new acute hospital in Enniskillen.

“I can assure communities across the west of my commitment to developing infrastructure to enhance connectivity and economic development as well as improving safety on local roads.”

The Council’s Mission is to work in partnership with others to improve the lives and wellbeing of our communities and to provide the best quality experience for those who visit our District.  The Council is committed to continuing to engage with Ministers to ensure that the important issues of benefit to the District and residents are prioritised.