Council delegation meet with Minister Kennedy

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Monday, May 21st, 2012
A delegation of Elected Members recently met with Minister Kennedy to discuss a range of Strategic Infrastructure Projects relating to the Newry and Mourne area. On the issue of the Southern Relief Road, the Minister took on board the Council’s renewed call for this project and agreed it was ‘an economic driver’ for the future development of Newry city and indeed the entire region. He advised the Council that his department was currently considering the four potential route options with a preferred corridor hopefully being identified at the end of 2012 or early 2013. He outlined the range of issues that had to be considered via public consultations which would follow the identification of the preferred corridor route. Other issues discussed on the day were the Council’s requests for a new bus terminal on the site of the former Mourne Hospital site in Kilkeel and the upgrade of Park and Share facilities at Sheepbridge. Regarding the requested bus terminal at Kilkeel, the Minister had referred to the challenging financial climate currently being experienced by Translink but he agreed despite this to explore the matter with senior officials in the Department and Translink. When discussing the Park and Share facilities at Sheepbrige, the Minister stated that it was very positive to see the uptake of the facilities at Sheepbridge and reiterated that whilst on a small scale, the facility was playing its part in the strategy to reduce congestion and pollution. He agreed that despite budget constraints he would explore the potential to use existing land in Departments ownership to expand the facility and also examine if the pattern of usage could support the business case for a bus shuttle service for the site to Newry city centre.    

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