Stormont to spend £500m on roads

The government in Northern Ireland has decided to invest more than £500 million into road building projects over the next four years.

This will include work on two sections of the upgrade of the A5, which is set to cost £330 million and has been a matter of contention for some time.

The project, which was supposed to receive investment from both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, was halted last year after the financial crisis forced the Irish government to withdraw its funding.

There has also been a public inquiry into the stretch of A5 that runs through Northern Ireland, as many local landowners fear that the proposed new route could cut through their land.

Other projects include the conversion of stretches between Londonderry and Strabane as well as Omagh and Ballygawley into a dual carriageway, and the A2 road between Belfast and Carrickfergus will be upgraded for £57 million.

Another £108 million are to be spent on the A8 between Larne and Belfast, while £90 million will be invested in a new hospital in Omagh and refurbishment at two hospitals in Derry and Belfast.

Copyright Press Association 2012