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Major NI road schemes paused over budget shortfall

A number of major road schemes in Northern Ireland are in doubt after Stormont's Department for Infrastructure (DfI) said it had "paused" preliminary work.

The schemes under threat include the Ballynahinch bypass and the widening of a section of Belfast's A55 ring road.

DfI said it was committed to the remaining planned phases of the A6 Belfast to Derry road.

It also said the dualling of the A5 is still a priority project.

However, even among the department's priorities, funding is yet to be identified for some schemes.

For example, it said the delivery of the Drumahoe to Caw section of the A6 will "depend on a range of factors, including future budget settlements".

In a statement on Monday, the department said a combination of budget constraints and climate change commitments had "changed the landscape considerably" meaning that "delivery of the major roads programme as previously set out is no longer sustainable nor appropriate".

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It said the list of priority projects includes the completion of recently constructed schemes, those which have funding from City Deals and flagship projects identified by the last Stormont Executive.

DfI added that work will also continue on the A1 Junctions scheme, the York Street Interchange and A32 Dromore to Irvinestown 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".

Road schemes to be prioritised:

  • A4 Enniskillen Southern Bypass

  • A5 Western Transport Corridor

  • A6 Randalstown / Castledawson

  • A6 Derry / Dungiven Phase 1

  • A6 Derry / Dungiven Phase 2

  • Belfast Rapid Transit 2

  • Lagan Pedestrian & Cycle Bridge

  • Newry Southern Relief Road

  • A29 Cookstown Bypass

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