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You recently asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland a Parliamentary Question asking for a list of the major road schemes likely to commence construction in Northern Ireland within the next 12 months (211518). I have been asked to reply as the issue raised falls within my responsibility as Chief Executive of Rods Service.
A1 Newry to Dundalk Link Roadthe Northern Ireland section of this scheme will upgrade 4.3km of route to high standard dual carriageway and include one grade separated junction at an estimated cost of £33 million.
The first package of the Roads Service Design Build Finance Operate (DBFO) programme is expected to be awarded in 2005 and it is possible that construction of the following two capital elements of the package may start construction in the next 12 months:
improvements to the M1/Westlink, costing an estimated £75 million, which will include the widening of 2.8km of the M1 motorway to 3 lanes in each direction (Stockman's Lane to Broadway), the widening of 1.6km of the Westlink dual carriageway to 3 lanes in each direction (Broadway to Divis Street) and the provision of 2 grade separated junctions (underpasses) at Broadway and Grosvenor Road.
Of course, the commencement of these schemes on the Eastern Sea Board Corridor should be viewed in the context of recently constructed and ongoing schemes throughout Northern Ireland, as well as those schemes planned to start in 200607.
For example, schemes recently constructed that serve the North West include the Strabane Bypass Stage II and Limavady Bypass both opened to traffic in September 2003, and the Toome Bypass that was opened to traffic in March 2004. Several carriageway-widening schemes have also been completed on the key corridors
In addition the planning and preparation of the A6 dualling scheme from Randalstown to Castledawson and the dualling of the A2 at Broadbridge (Eglinton to Campsie), is progressing well with construction expected to start in 200607 (subject to satisfactory economic analysis, availability of finance and the completion of the statutory procedures).
You will also be aware that the schemes to provide the Skeoge Link and upgrade the A2 Buncrana road are being taken forward in consultation with the developers of the proposed extensive development in the area. While the timing of these improvements will be dependent on agreement with the developers, the first element of these improvements is expected in 200506.
Mr. Gardiner: I have no plans to re-introduce school performance tables in Northern Ireland. The information which the tables contained has for some time been available in respect of each school in its prospectus. With the Freedom of Information Act now in force, the information in respect of all schools will be released by the Department of Education in response to specific requests.
Mr. Tyrie: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) on how many occasions between 31 March 2003 and 31 March 2004 departmental special advisers travelled (a) domestically and (b) abroad in an official capacity; what places were visited; and how much each visit cost; 
Mr. Paul Murphy: During the period 31 March 2003 to 31 March 2004 Northern Ireland Office special advisors travelled domestically on 35 occasions. It is not possible because of the nature of the travel to form this information into return journeys. The details of each journey and associated costs are set out in the following table.
During the same period special advisors made eight trips abroad. The details of the destinations and travel costs for these trips are set out in the following table. In all instances except the trips to Washington and New York/Washington/LA/San Francisco the expenditure does not include the cost of hotel accommodation and other associated expenses as it is not possible to isolate those figures which relate solely to special advisors from other costs.
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Mr. Paul Murphy: The Government are actively seeking to appoint a new chairman of the Ulster Scots Agency. To this end, discussions with the parties remain on-going and an appointment will be made as quickly as possible.