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Department of Transport says A5 delay not linked to National Children's Hospital

Politicians in Donegal raised concern after the delay of €27m payment

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Staff Reporter

Department of Transport says A5 delay not linked to National Children's Hospital

The Department of Transport has said the delay to the A5 road project is not linked to the overrun of the National Children's Hospital.

Politicians in Donegal raised concern after it emerged that a €27m payment as part of the Irish Government's €85m contribution to the scheme has been delayed. The delay came after Government departments were asked to find savings due to the National Children's Hospital cost overrun.

The £150m A5 scheme from Derry to the near the border at Aughnacloy was delayed due to a legal challenge in Belfast last November but it is hoped that work will begin later this year.

The Department of Transport said in a statement that not a single transport project has been affected due to the overrun costs for the National Children’s Hospital.

“In particular, contrary to reports, the A5 has not been delayed due to these costs," the department said.
"There will not be a single cent cut off the Department of Transport’s capital spend on the A5. An unavoidable postponement in the development of the A5 – due to legal challenges on the Northern side – means the Department will save €27 million in our budget this year.

“Under the Stormont House Agreement and Implementation Plan, the Government is committed to providing funding of £75 million (sterling) for the construction of Phase 1a of the project (Newbuildings to north of Strabane). Provision had been made in the DTTaS budget for this funding to be provided in three tranches over 2019, 2020 and 2021.

“However, it is now understood that late 2019 is the earliest that construction could start. In the event of a further legal challenge, it could be early 2020 before construction could start. The A 5 project goes ahead, this is merely a timing adjustment.”