Thursday, 3 June 2021
Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport
238. To ask the Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport if the modal and intervention hierarchies within the National Investment Framework for Transport in Ireland will not lead to any loss of central Government funding for the long delayed and vital road projects for County Donegal, the Ten-T priority improvement project and the A5 project in Northern Ireland; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30312/21]
The purpose of the investment hierarchies within my Department’s draft land transport investment framework is to ensure that the most appropriate solutions to a given transport issue or opportunity are deployed. The modal hierarchy seeks to promote sustainable transport modes while the intervention hierarchy seeks to ensure we invest in a manner that is proportional to the issue at hand. However, the hierarchies are not rigid tools and their application will be flexible and pragmatic at the project-level. Investment will remain principles-based and objectives-led. Where solutions that are high on either hierarchy are infeasible or inappropriate to meet the objectives of a given investment, solutions from further down the hierarchy will be considered.
As Minister for Transport, I have responsibility for overall policy and securing exchequer funding in relation to the National Roads Programme. Once funding arrangements have been put in place with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), under the Roads Acts 1993-2015 and in line with the National Development Plan (NDP), the planning, design and construction of individual national roads is a matter for TII, in conjunction with the local authorities concerned.This is also subject to the requirements of the Public Spending Code Guidelines which examine the rationale, objectives, scope, options, costs and benefits of projects and the necessary statutory approvals. In this context, TII is best placed to advise on the current status and funding of the proposed projects in County Donegal, pending also the Government's review of the NDP.
The planning and implementation of the proposed A5 upgrade project is the responsibility of the Northern Ireland authorities. The funding arrangements in relation to the scheme are governed by the commitments in the Stormont House Agreement and Implementation Plan and in the New Decade, New Approach document. In this context the Irish Government is committed to providing funding of £75 million (sterling) towards the cost of Phase 1a of the A5 upgrade scheme once the statutory planning process in Northern Ireland is concluded and construction commences.
Noting the above position, I have referred your question to TII for a direct reply. Please advise my private office if you do not receive a reply within 10 working days.