Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Narrow Water Link bridge preferred option for Down and Louth

14 September, 2007

South Down Assembly Member Willie Clarke is urging the British and Irish Governments to press ahead and make funding available for the construction of a link bridge across Carlingford Lough at Narrow Water on the outskirts of Warrenpoint.

Describing the scheme as a possible "flagship project which would considerable benefits for the entire south Down, north Louth and south Armagh region," Mr Clarke said:

"The option most preferred by South Down Sinn Fein to improve the links between South Down and North Louth is a link bridge which should be built across Carlingford Lough at Narrow Water. It is an issue we have been to the fore in lobbying for and it has been discussed at the north/south ministerial council and I have raised the matter with Conor Murphy in his capacity as the Minister for Regional Development.

"The Executive needs to do everything possible to develop north/south links which are vital to the future development of tourism and industry in south Down.

"A bridge at Narrow Water would have the potential to rejuvenate the town of Warrenpoint and the surrounding hinterland and facilitate tourism by allowing easy access to one of the most scenic areas in Ireland. This view is supported by Interreg who have in the past stated that a link bridge connecting counties Down and Louth has the potential to be a flagship infrastructural project for the Eastern Seaboard.

"The Narrow Water Bridge would also greatly improve the road infrastructure in the area and help alleviate traffic congestion in Newry City. The project would speed up the flow of freight traffic to towns and villages on the Eastern seaboard and allow heavy haulage greater accessibility to the Warrenpoint Docks. Local people who work in Dundalk, Drogheda and Dublin would also benefit from having a more direct route available to them.

"Sinn Fein has been long term advocates of viable cross border projects and we have used our position as an all-Ireland party to spearhead this project. Our TD's, MPs, MLAs and Councillors, north and south, recognise that a bridge at Narrow Water has the potential to rejuvenate counties Down, Armagh and Louth.

"An integrated All-Ireland approach to tourism, the economy and spatial development is the only viable way forward and the many economic benefits for the region that would flow from a link bridge at Narrow Water support a compelling case for capital funding for this project." ENDS

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