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Northern Ireland road building culled


Belfast’s planned Lagan pedestrian & cycle bridge survived the cull

Only nine of the 28 look likely to go ahead, with planning to continue on another two.

Seven of the nine schemes being prioritised are road schemes; one is light rail and one is a footbridge. All 17 put on ice are road building.

Both financial and environmental constraints were offered as justification.

Prioritising the development and delivery of major road schemes has been necessary because of the department’s “challenging budgetary position”, it said, “along with constrained resources and commitments under the Climate Change (NI) Act 2022”.

The department’s statement continued: “This combination of factors has changed the landscape considerably, meaning delivery of the major roads programme as previously set out is no longer sustainable nor appropriate.”

The schemes to be prioritised, together with their estimated value, are:

  • A6 Randalstown/Castledawson (£1.6bn)
  • A6 Derry/Dungiven Phase 1 (£170m-£200m)
  • A5 Western Transport Corridor (£1.6bn)
  • A6 Derry/Dungiven Phase 2 (£170m-£200m)
  • Belfast Rapid Transit 2 (£142m-£148m)
  • Lagan Pedestrian & Cycle Bridge (£12.9m)
  • Newry Southern Relief Road (£85m-£100m)
  • A4 Enniskillen Southern Bypass (£25m-£30m)
  • A29 Cookstown Bypass (£55m-£65m).

Start dates for the prioritised projects vary. Construction on the first phase of the £1.6bn A5 Western Transport Corridor scheme could start in May 2024, while the earliest possible construction start for the £100m Newry Southern Relief Road would be 2028.

Work will also continue on the A1 Junctions Phase 2 scheme (£65m-£75m), to finalise the Business Case and complete the preparation of the contract documents. In addition, current work streams will also be completed on York Street Interchange (£120m-£165m) and A32 Cornamuck schemes (£5m-£6.5m). However, no funding has been identified for either of these schemes.

All other schemes will be paused and their place on a future major works programme will be informed by the department’s emerging transport plans and any decision by a future infrastructure minister, the statement said.

The schemes that have been paused are:

  • A2 Buncrana Road
  • A24 Ballynahinch Bypass
  • A55 Knock Road Widening
  • A28 Armagh East Link
  • A32 Esker Bog
  • A3 Armagh North and West Link
  • A2 Ballykelly Bypass
  • A2 Sydenham Bypass
  • A32 Kilgortnalegue
  • M1 / A1 Sprucefield Bypass
  • A3 Portadown to Richill Dualling
  • A26 Ballymoney to Coleraine
  • A26 Nuts Corner to Moira
  • A4 Fivemiletown Bypass
  • M2 / A8(M) Sandyknowes Junction Upgrade
  • Shaftesbury Link
  • M1 Slip Roads at Blacks Road.

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