Narrow Water Bridge and Southern Relief Road backing from Martin McGuinness

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Monday, February 29th, 2016
Community, Politics
Newry Councillor Charlie Casey has welcomed comments from Joint First Minister Martin McGuinness regarding the Southern Relief Road and the Narrow Water Bridge project.
Joint First Minister Martin McGuinness with Cllr Charlie Casey, Mickey Brady MP, Cllr. Valarie Harte, Megan Fearon MLA, Conor Murphy MLA and NMD Chairman Mickey Ruane.

Joint First Minister Martin McGuinness with Cllr Charlie Casey, Mickey Brady MP, Cllr. Valarie Harte, Megan Fearon MLA, Conor Murphy MLA and NMD Chairman Mickey Ruane

The Sinn Féin Councillor joined NMD Chairman Mickey Ruane for a meeting with Minister McGuinness following the Newry Chamber Business Lunch with the Joint First Minister in the Canal Court. The council’s CEO Liam Hannaway and Director Marie Warde also attended the meeting, as did Pamela Arthurs, CEO of the East Border Region Committee. “It was a good, positive meeting and the Joint Fist Minister made very clear his support for both the Southern Relief Road and the Narrow Water Bridge,” Casey said. “He was able to assure us that the Southern Relief Road definitely forms part of the Department’s long term plans and that parts of the project were at an advanced stage already. “He also voiced his support for the Narrow Water Bridge, which he agreed would be have huge potential for boosting tourism on both sides of the river. “This voicing of support for the project from the Joint First Minister, along with the fact that Sinn Féin have included it in their 26-county election manifesto, shows that north and south, locally and nationally, Sinn Féin remains committed to this area and this project,” he added.  

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1 Comment for “Narrow Water Bridge and Southern Relief Road backing from Martin McGuinness”

  1. Déaglán7

    I entirely understand the call to build a Southern Relief Road connecting the Warrenpoint dual carriageway with the A1 at Cloghoge.

    But how many people would benefit from a bridge to Omeath?

    Surely more people would benefit by building the Downpatrick Eastern Bypass or the A24 Ballynahinch Bypass? We could invest money in having a northern Newry link so that traffic from South Down could bypass Newry city centre on its way to South Armagh or the ROI. What about improvements to the B30 between Camlough and Cullaville?

    And many, many more would benefit from upgrading the A3 Portadown – Richill, the A4 Enniskillen Southern Bypass,, the A2 Ballykelly and Greysteel Bypasses, the A31 Magherafelt Bypass, the A29 Cookstown Bypass and the A32 Omagh – Enniskillen.

    The lives and livelihoods of thousands of people would improve if we were to prioritise the A501 in West Belfast, the A24 in South Belfast, the A55 in East Belfast, the Yorkgate interchange in North Belfast or widening the Hillhall Road (B23) near Lisburn. Sanyknowles junction on the M2 at Glengormley is in need of an upgrade, and safety along stretches of the A2 Holywood – Bangor leaves a great deal to be desired.

    And I am yet to mention the “big projects”: the A6 Belfast-Londonderry, A5 Londonderry-Aughnacloy and improvements to the A26 north of Ballymena towards Coleraine. Most of the junctions on the A1 between Sheepsbredge and Sprucefield are so unsafe that DRD stopped building them years ago – they need improved or replaced, and the same is true for the A26 Antrim-Ballymena.

    Would anyone like 3 lanes on the M1 Belfast-Sprucefield? Improved access to the City of Derry Airport? Train stations at the City of Derry Airport or Belfast City Airport might be a nice idea – both of which have trains passing by them every day of the week.

    Traffic in Newry city centre can be dire at times, largely due to through-traffic accessing Warrenpoint port. That can be solved by building a southern bypass so that all the heavy goods vehicles aren’t clogging up the city’s streets and turning the place into a glorified, gridocked carpark. But where is the justification for a bridge to Omeath?

    Don’t get me wrong: I reckon it’d be a lovely idea. I’ve seen the designs and they look superb. But at what price? Where are we going to take money from in order to pay for this white elephant? It would just end up being yet another vanity project for politicians to gloat about come election time. It wouldn’t be a waste of money, but it’s not a priority and probably won’t be on the cards within the foreseeable future.

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