Motorway will only get go ahead when state sells off crown jewelsDecember 6, 2012 - 8:00am
The much troubled Gort to Tuam motorway project has hit yet another snag with the Government saying that its future is now dependent on the sale of State assets – it could knock the scheme back several years.
The Minister for Transport has confirmed that there is no funding in place to proceed with the 57 kilometre stretch of motorway and is wholly dependent on the Government selling off State assets, like its share in Aer Lingus, CIE or Coillte for example.
With none of these assets likely to be sold in the short term, it now seems as if the M17/M18 project has firmly been put on the long finger despite a consortium being appointed to build the motorway.
In a reply to Deputy Noel Grealish, Minister Leo Varadkar said that the Government had no financial provision for this project and that such an allocation was dependent on the planned sale of State assets.
However, the Minister did not outline what assets would be sold in the short term or when finance for the motorway would be in the pipeline. His response has thrown further uncertainty on the project getting under way within the next couple of years at the earliest.
The Minister was asked by Deputy Grealish if there was funding available to proceed with the new motorway and when the contracts for the €530 million project would be signed.
“It looks like we are further away than we ever were from this vital piece of infrastructure being constructed,” Deputy Grealish said.
See full story in this week's Connacht Tribune.