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)