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Clarke to meet DRD Minister over Newcastle traffic congestion

4 September, 2008

South Down Assembly Member Willie Clarke has requested a meeting with Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy MP, MLA, in a bid to ensure measures are put in place to address Newcastle's worsening traffic congestion.

Cllr Clarke said:

"I have requested a meeting with the Minister inSeptember to discuss a number of issues, including the congestion onMain Street and the need to implement measures that will improve trafficflow in a controlled manor. "Additional resources are needed to upgrade the Shimna Road in order toenable it to facilitate two way traffic; the Shimna Road infrastructureis in need of an upgrade as the footpaths are too narrow and not able toensure the safety of pedestrians. Additional investment has to be madeavailable to address these issues otherwise all of the good work carriedout in the town over the past couple of years will have meant verylittle.

"Tourism and Small businesses are the heartbeat of the town's economyand this summer has proven that increased traffic congestion is having aserious economic impact. What's needed is a complete review of how thechanges to Main Street have affected other areas of the town,particularly places like the Tollymore and Bryansford Roads and ValentiaPlace. Extra expenditure must be made available to manage the increasedvolumes of traffic affecting these areas and in places like BryansfordGardens and Valentia Place, it may be necessary to introduce a one waysystem as the quality of life of local residents is suffering as aresult of increasing traffic congestion." ENDS

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