Newry.ie

OPINION

A video that shows a mock up of the route of the proposed Newry Southern Relief Road has appeared on YouTube.

The video entitled "Newry Southern Relief Road - Drive Through 2019" was uploaded 1 July and clearly shows a Newry City cut off from the rest of the world for shipping traffic, with a fixed bridge that spans over Newry Ship Canal as well as the Clanrye River.

A screenshot from the video
A screenshot from the video

If the video does indeed represent the 'preferred' plan for the scheme, the beautiful sight of  tall ship visits to the city and moored at The Quays Shopping Centre will become another thing of nostalgia that you can tell your children about.

Newry people cannot allow this to happen.

For too many years the history and architecture of the city we call home has been destroyed little by little and for what gain? The heart of Newry was ripped out in the 1960's to bypass the centre of Newry and now  it's rich maritime heritage is just waiting in the wings to be snatched from our grasp.

It takes a brave person to say that the Southern Relief Road is not needed but realistically we would suggest any potential gain in reduced traffic in Newry City centre will last for a few years at most ... and then what!

A screenshot showing a bridge over the Clanrye River and Newry Ship Canal.
A screenshot showing a bridge over the Clanrye River and Newry Ship Canal.

A short term gain for the permanent pain of the life being ripped out of Newry once again. A tourism gem snuffed out before it even got ignited properly. How convenient that we wouldn't have to market Newry City as a tourist destination. Move along - There is nothing to see!

Are we the only ones that can see the incredible potential that Newry could and absolutely should have? We won't realise that potential though if we engage in institutional vandalism of the highest order.

Newry's a perfect stop of point for people who want to visit the Mourne's, Carlingford Lough and Cooley, the Ring of Gullion during the day and then chill out with some great food and a few beverages,  not forgetting tasting some of the Newry Whiskey that's on the way.

Last night there were two bus loads of Japanese tourists staying in the Canal Court. This would just be the tip of the iceberg if those in power could find a way to use our natural facilities to their max.

Why are we waiting so long for movement with the already agreed park at the Albert Basin and where are all the statements from local politicians about what they are going to do to keep our unique Newry Ship Canal waterway open. From where we are sitting that's a lot more important than a road that will ultimately contribute to even more traffic and most likely not reduce the traffic in Newry in the long term.

If the road is being built a lifting bridge over the canal is the only option. Newry people deserve nothing less.

Check out the video at www.youtube.com

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