Irish Government ‘postpones’ £400m A5 upgrade funding

Given the dire economic situation, and the fact that the Northern Ireland Regional Development Minister isn’t due to decide how the A5 Western Transport Corridor is to progress until “early 2012”, it’s hardly surprising that the Irish Government has withdrawn its £400million contribution to the £850million scheme.  The RTÉ report describes it as being ‘postponed’ after a “review of a range of major capital infrastructure commitments”.  [Indefinitely? – Ed]  You might well think that…

As Irish Labour Party transport spokesman,  Joe Costello, said back in December 2010

“We may not be in a position required to build the road from Dublin as far as Aughnacloy, not to talk about making a half billion contribution to Aughnacloy to Derry,” [Mr Costello] said.

And there’s little political imperative to do so there.

Adds  The updated BBC report quotes the NI Finance Minister, the DUP’s Sammy Wilson.

The Finance Minister Sammy Wilson said he was disappointed, but understood the Irish government’s position.

“They couldn’t give a commitment between now and 2016,” he said.

“Our budget only runs to 2014-15 so there’s no money coming within our own budget period.

“For this budget period the road cannot be financed and cannot be built.”

Mr Wilson said that the executive’s contribution to the A5 would now be spent elsewhere.

“We’re looking at how we re-profile that and what we spend it on,” he said