Tuesday, 19 February 2019

Ceisteanna (555)

Pat the Cope Gallagher

Ceist:

555. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport the timeline for the delivery of the A5-N2 motorway project following his recent decision to cut the budget for the proposed road in 2019; if all other options had been considered before cutting the funding for the infrastructure project for the north west of Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [7997/19]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Transport)

The planning and implementation of the A5 upgrade project is the responsibility of the Northern Ireland authorities.

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 A5 upgrade scheme. The aim of this commitment was to facilitate the delivery of this phase of the scheme as soon as possible once the planning process in Northern Ireland was concluded.

As part of the Capital Plan Review in 2017 financial provision was made for meeting the Government's commitment regarding the A5 in 3 tranches over the period 2019 to 2021. When those allocations were put in place it was anticipated that the planning process would have concluded and construction of the 1st phase started before now.

However, legal challenges to the approval of the scheme have resulted in unavoidable delays to the timeframe for implementation of the scheme. Following judicial review proceedings last year the scheme approval was quashed.

Allowing for the time required by the Northern Ireland Department for Infrastructure (DfI) to review work previously undertaken on the scheme and implement necessary statutory procedures, it was evident, following liaison at official level, that the initial €27 million tranche of funding would not be drawn down this year and would need to be rolled forward. As was the case for previous Government contributions, it is envisaged that payments towards the cost of the A5 will be based on an agreed protocol and linked to the achievement of construction stage milestones. Funding for this project is assured from 2020 onward.