As Minister for Transport, Tourism & Sport, I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to the national roads programme. Under the Roads Acts 1993-2015, the planning, design and construction of individual national roads is a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), in conjunction with the local authorities concerned and in this case Donegal County Council. As a matter of course, my officials engage closely and on an ongoing basis with TII and local authorities on their roads programmes.
In that context, I am not aware of any request from officials in Donegal County Council for a meeting with myself, as against my officials, in respect of the TEN-T Route Improvement project. However, I'm pleased to advise that Donegal County Council was recently recommended for co-funding, under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Transport 2019 call for proposals, for its TEN-T Priority Route Improvement Project.
The project concerns the studies or preparatory work required to remove bottlenecks over a length of 31 km at three road sections, namely Ballybofey to Stranorlar, to which you refer, including Letterkenny to Manorcunningham; and Manorcunningham to Lifford/Strabane. This covers the designs and reports required to obtain the necessary statutory and other approvals to facilitate the future construction.
The total eligible cost of this project is €8.67 million, of which 50% or €4.335 million has been recommended for funding under CEF. The Innovation and Networks Executive Agency (INEA) will shortly finalise and sign a grant agreement with the Council, at the latest by January 2020. The final co-funding amount will be contingent on this grant agreement and an agreed project and expenditure plan being implemented by Donegal County Council with INEA oversight.
Further details are available on the European Commission’s website at the following link: https://ec.europa.eu/inea/en/news-events/newsroom/eur117-million-sustainable-transport-infrastructure-europe.