Brexit halts major Belfast road scheme

A major new road scheme in traffic-clogged Belfast has been put on hold due to funding fears arising from Britain’s vote to leave the European Union (EU).

The £165m York Street Interchange project, planned since 2009, was to get 40% of its funding from the EU but Brexit means that funding is now in doubt.

Transport Northern Ireland is reported to have written to firms tendering for the work – which was due to start in autumn 2017 – to say the project is now on hold.

The interchange was designed to ease rising congestion at a busy junction in the city, which the Belfast Telegraph has reported is the third most congested city in the UK.

Northern Ireland’s infrastructure minister Chris Hazzard told the BBC: "Brexit spells bad news, not just for this project, but for my department as a whole."

Seamus Leheny, Northern Ireland Manager of the UK’s Freight Transport Association (FTA) said: "FTA members will be bitterly disappointed if the scheme does not go ahead as planned.

"Commercial vehicle operators from right across the country consistently state that the M1, M2, Westlink road corridor are the most problematic and costly for their vehicles to navigate."

Image: Northern Ireland Transport Minister Danny Kennedy launched the formal consultation process for the new road interchange at York Street in Belfast in January 2015 (UUP)

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  1. If the funding has already been agreed, and as the UK will be in the EU until at least 2019 it should still be allocated, unless of course the EU want the UK to continue to pay into Europe but not get anything back!!

  2. Unfortunately you receive nothing for free in this life and the EU does not give anything for nothing, if in doubt look at the sorry mess Greece finds itself in after accepting hundreds of millions in so called grants that had to be repaid to the EU banks. If the project is so important then the UK Government can allocate funds from the billions it will not be paying in to the black hole of the EU treasury.

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