New A1 dual carriageway only first step in developing first-class border infrastructure
Sinn Féin South Down MLA Caitriona Ruane has said that the opening of the
new A1 Loughbrickland Beech Hill dual carriageway is a welcome first step in
addressing the deficit in border infrastructure but that there needed to be
motorway infrastructure not just connecting Dublin and Belfast but also
Derry and the northwest. She also highlighted safety concerns of local
Ms Ruane said:
"The opening of this new dual carriageway is long overdue. It is a section of road that has an appalling rate of road accidents. Recent evidence has shown that there is a high concentration of road fatalities in border areas and there is clearly much more that must be done.
"It will not be lost on people that just beyond the border there is a motorway and it is high time that we had motorway infrastructure connecting not just Dublin and Belfast but also Derry and the northwest to ensure that we have a first-class road infrastructure throughout the border region that reconnects the island of Ireland.
"Sinn Féin has consistently argued for a joined up approach in developing
infrastructure throughout Ireland and we now need to see plans being brought
forward by both the Irish and British government that can deliver an
all-Ireland infrastructure system.
"Local people have also voiced concerns about road safety and it is
essential that these are fully addressed. In particular concerns about
lighting at turn offs including at the Derrycraw Road should be addressed."
Sinn Féin Fews area Councillor Pat McGinn supporting his colleagues call for
the issues to be addressed said that Newry and Mourne Council was united in
the opinion that there was a safety issue that needed to be addressed.
"At a recent Council meeting there was unity across the political divide in
supporting the concerns and fears of local residents. The local signage
issue can be addressed by Council, but we need a rapid response to queries
about safety by Roads Service personnel. What we do not want is another
Newry Bypass scenario where it took many years and many deaths to finally
force Roads Service into acknowledging that lighting was needed at various
junctions on the Road."
Councillor McGinn said that it was also hoped that lighting for the
underpass used by school children availing of the Bus Service is increased
and maintained. ENDS