Wednesday, 2 October 2019

Questions (65)

Charlie McConalogue


65. Deputy Charlie McConalogue asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the status of the progress of the A5 project; the funding that will be made available for the project; when the funding will be made available; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39686/19]

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Written answers (Question to Transport)

As the Deputy is aware, the planning and implementation of the A5 upgrade project is the responsibility of the Northern Ireland authorities.

Following the conclusion in 2018 of the legal challenge to the approval of the scheme, the Northern Ireland Department for Infrastructure (DfI) updated the project assessments and undertook a public consultation on a number of environmental reports including an Environmental Statement Addendum 2019 and Reports of Information to Inform an Appropriate Assessment. DfI issued a project update in August which indicated that over 260 responses to the consultation had been received and that following on from consideration of the number and nature of the issues raised the DfI had concluded that a further public inquiry is required. DfI also indicated that it had written to the Planning Appeals Commission seeking a hearing in relation to the project.

The current funding arrangements in relation to the A5 are governed by the Stormont House Agreement and Implementation Plan - A Fresh Start. Under this Agreement the Government is committed to provide funding of £75 million (sterling) towards the cost of Phase 1a of the A5 upgrade scheme once the statutory planning process in Northern Ireland is concluded.