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 No north west guarantee for surplus A5 funds - Wilson

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Mr007



Number of posts : 96
Registration date : 2011-02-06

PostSubject: No north west guarantee for surplus A5 funds - Wilson   Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:28 am


A5 road sign The Irish government had started contributing towards the cost of the the A5 road upgrade.

The finance minister has said geography will not be a criteria when the Executive decides to redistribute surplus funds from the A5 project.

On Wednesday the Irish government withdrew 400m from the Londonderry to Aughnacloy upgrade.

Sammy Wilson said this means the road cannot be built within the current budget period, and Stormont's contribution will be redistributed.

He said geography will not be a factor in deciding where to invest.

"We need to look at the money we've got.

"It has to be spent within a certain period of time otherwise it goes back into the Exchequer in London, so we've got to look at what projects are there and ready to go.

"Secondly, we have to look at what projects fit our objectives, for example projects that may help us save money in the longer term and what impact it will have on the local economy.

"These things will not be decided on geographic area, they will be decided on proper economic criteria."

The regional development minister, Danny Kennedy, said the Executive has yet to make its overall decision on where the A5 surplus will go, but his intention was to build roads strategically across Northern Ireland.
Sammy Wilson Sammy Wilson says the surplus funding will not be distributed according to geographic area

He told BBC Radio Foyle that projects which would be considered the A6, the A2, the A4 and the A26.

'Priority'

The Foyle MP Mark Durkan said the news was a "very serious hit" for the north west.

"What we have to do is see what can be rescued from this.

"We need to make sure that any chance of money from the Irish government is established, it is nailed down, and maybe chisel out the possibility of sums of money within a particular timeline which would allow the Northern government to do parts of the road.

"If we don't get the funding it will become an excuse for people to say that if the Irish money isn't available, no money can be spent.

"The A5 needs to be a priority for the Executive."

North Donegal TD Padraig MacLochlainn said that nobody in the north west can accept the decision to shelve the A5.

"We have a scenario where we have world class infrastructure linking the cities of this island, and we have the fourt largest city on the island left out of that scenario.

"We have to stand together here, and fight for our region."

In May, the taoiseach publicly pledged to spend hundreds of millions of euro to build the stretch of motorway.

In September, the Republic's Department of Transport told the BBC it had already spent 19m on the project.

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