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Two become one

The Southern Relief Road would ‘meet many of the objectives of the Narrow Water Bridge’ according to Minister for Regional Development Danny Kennedy. Mr Kennedy made the comments whilst replying to an Assembly question from Newry and Armagh MLA Dominic Bradley (SDLP) who asked the Minister for information on both projects. “The Newry Southern Relief Road which has been the subject of a feasibility study would provide a link between A1 Belfast dual carriageway and the A2 Warrenpoint dual carriageway,” he said. “My Department is continuing to investigate environmental issues associated with the tree ring/ sconce features on the slopes of Fathom Mountain that are likely to be affected and the impact of the proposal on the Newry Canal an important heritage feature. I understand being a local representative that a southern relief road would bring significant benefits to the local economy Warrenpoint port and the traffic conditions in Newry City. I take this opportunity to confirm my support for the proposal. As the scheme has the potential to include a link between the Warrenpoint dual carriageway and the Omeath Road and onward into County Louth it would also meet many of the objectives of the Narrow Water Bridge proposal. Therefore I have asked officials to move the scheme forward and proceed with the various environmental technical that will assist in identifying a preferred corridor for the Newry southern relief road.” In response Mr Bradley asked whether or not there had been any consultation into the proposal that the two bridges could effectively be combined into one. To this Minister Kennedy said there had not. “Until the various technical and environmental impact studies have been completed it is too early for consultation,” he said. “I talked about the impact on Fathom Mountain and whether the impact on Newry Canal will require some form of bridging or spanning. However there are possibilities. We can I think meet the objective of a great many people seeking a bridge link into County Louth. We can make progress through creative imagination and by using the best the most sensible and th e most popular southern relief road project given its importance to the economy not only in south Down with parts of south Armagh and the benefits what would accrue from it. With creative I think that we could make some progress.”


Newry Reporter

26th February 2014