A5 appears to avoid chopping block

With the tidal wave of austerity in wake of the EU bailout flushing throughout the South of Ireland. Up here in Tyrone we sat patiently waiting expecting on news any day that the £400m package promised by the Irish Government would be first in line on the budget chopping block.

As one of the toughest budgets in the history of the Irish Free State becomes a reality, we waited for the news of the withdrawal of the too-good-to-be-true investment package in the A5/N2 and A8 dualling projects.

But as the 140 page National Recovery Plan 2011-2014 was published. Predictions for the demise of one of the biggest road projects in modern Irish history it seems, have been greatly exaggerated. Although not expressly mentioned in the report. Those patient enough to trawl through to page 84, under a small section labelled “Delivering Economic Infrastructure” will have read the following:

Capital investment has been an important driver of economic advancement in Ireland over the past ten years, providing the capacity and scope for growth in national output. By identifying the right investment priorities, capital expenditure can again be central to underpinning economic renewal. Targeted capital investment can achieve this in several ways.

5.2.1 Delivering Economic Infrastructure

Targeted investment in economic infrastructure contributes to economic recovery by reducing bottlenecks, bolstering productivity and facilitating an improvement in international competitiveness. Investment in infrastructure has positive effects throughout the wider economy – for example by reducing firms’ transportation and coordination costs. The completion of the Major Inter Urban Routes and a number of remaining national roads projects of key strategic importance will be progressed and will further augment productive capacity in the economy.

Dongeal North-East TD Niall Blaney has also assured the Ulster Herald this week that he has received assurances from Dublin that the A5/N2 project, which would link Dublin and Derry by dual carriageway, will go ahead as planned. However with confidence in the endangered Fianna Fail Government at an all time low and with the most recent estimates for the A5 well in excess of £800m, there is still plenty of doubt surrounding whether the Northern Ireland Executive and Irish Government will be able to find the funding for the ambitious project.

However, the hugely positive reaction to the official opening of the A4 dual carriageway this week has only served to highlight the limitations of the existing A5, which now pales in comparison to the brand new highway.

About AldousDuke
Mid Tyrone journalist, not so freelance any more.

One Response to A5 appears to avoid chopping block

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention A5 appears to avoid chopping block « Aldous Duke -- Topsy.com

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