York Street Interchange: Update

Oral Answers to Questions — Infrastructure – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:30 pm on 17th January 2017.

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Photo of Phillip Logan Phillip Logan DUP 2:30 pm, 17th January 2017

T6. Mr Logan asked the Minister for Infrastructure for an update on the York Street interchange. (AQT 661/16-21)

Photo of Christopher Hazzard Christopher Hazzard Sinn Féin

The York Street interchange certainly remains one of my departmental road priorities. I recently published my decision to accept the independent inspector's report. My Department will now begin to engage with the community around a number of the issues that were identified in that report.

Photo of Phillip Logan Phillip Logan DUP

I thank the Minister for the answer. I am sure the Minister will appreciate that it is important for not only those residents but those who commute up and down to Belfast, and for tourism. Will the Minister outline a time schedule for work progressing on that?

Photo of Christopher Hazzard Christopher Hazzard Sinn Féin

There are a number of issues that probably make it difficult to outline a very accurate timescale for moving forward with the York Street interchange, not least the fact that the funding difficulties that we faced have, I suggest, been exacerbated by the Prime Minister's statement today on Brexit. It is very clear that we, out of any of the states, are heading for a very hard Brexit.

Some Members:

Hear, hear.

Photo of Christopher Hazzard Christopher Hazzard Sinn Féin

Members can say "Hear, hear" till the cows come home, but when farmers lose out on various grants for various things, the cows will be coming home to an empty shed. At the end of the day, we were able to facilitate —

Photo of Christopher Hazzard Christopher Hazzard Sinn Féin

Aye, it will probably be a warm enough shed, right enough.

At the end of the day, Europe has been good to the people of the North regarding infrastructure projects, and the interchange is one such project that has suffered at the hands of the Brexiteers who cheer on the other side of the House. That is the situation that we find ourselves in today.

Photo of Robin Newton Robin Newton Speaker

Mr Edwin Poots is not in his place.