Minister referred to PPS over rail upgrade

The Londonderry to Coleraine train line.
The Londonderry to Coleraine train line.

Northern Ireland’s Transport Minister is to be referred to the Public Prosecution Service by a Stormont committee over the Londonderry to Belfast railway line, it has been confirmed.

The Minister, UUP MLA Danny Kennedy, failed to provide a copy of a review into phase two of the rail upgrade before a deadline which expired at 1pm today (March 23, 2015), the Committee for Regional Development said today in a statement.

The Committee is examining why the cost of the railway work almost doubled to £40m from its original estimate.

In a statement, the Committee for Regional Development said: “The Committee for Regional Development today agreed to refer the Minister for Regional Development to the Public Prosecution Service (PPS) for failing to respond to a requirement to produce a Project Assessment Review (PAR) report prepared by the Major Project Authority of the Cabinet Office into the Coleraine to Derry/Londonderry Phase 2 Railway project.

“The Minister had been served with a notice under section 44 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 to produce the PAR report by 1.00pm today. The Minister has not produced the report and as agreed at an emergency meeting this morning the Committee is to refer the matter to the PPS for consideration by the Director of Public Prosecutions.”

SDLP MLA for East Londonderry and Member of the Committee for Regional Development, John Dallat, strongly criticized Mr Kennedy for his failure to deliver a copy of the Public Assessment Review (PAR).