Written Answers. - Roads Funding.

Michael Creed

Ceist:

376 Mr. Creed asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government the amount of grant aid available from the EU for national primary road construction and improvements under the national development plan; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [27589/01]

It is expected that EU grant assistance towards the development of national roads under the national development plan will amount to 779.0 million comprising 530.2 million from the European Regional Development Fund; 208.8 million from the Cohesion Fund; and 40.0 million in TEN-T (Trans-European Transport Network) financial support.

The European Regional Development Fund aid provision was approved by the European Commission on 7 December 2000 as part of its decision on funding towards the Economic and Social Infrastructure Operational Programme 2000-2006. The aid will be drawn down in respect of national primary road projects, principally projects for the development of the key inter-urban routes. The assistance from the other two funding instruments is being provided specifically for national primary road projects in the context of the development of the trans-European transport network routes.

In response to applications for assistance under the present round of cohesion funding, an amount of 172.3 million in grant assistance has been approved to date towards the construction costs of three road projects – the Cloghran to Lissen hall (stage 2) and Lissenhall to Balbriggan motorway projects on the M1 Dublin to Belfast route and the M50 south-eastern motorway. The European Commission is at present finalising procedures for a decision on trans-European transport network funding which would include an initial grant "in the sum of 8 million" towards the planning and design costs of a number of projects on the M1 Dublin to Belfast and the N7/8 Dublin to Cork routes.