Newry.ie

The Department for Infrastructure have announced their preferred route for the proposed Southern Relief Road which would enable traffic to bypass Newry city centre.

The preferred route for the Newry Southern Relief Road would see it taking a route via a new roundabout at the Warrenpoint end of Greenbank Industrial Estate which would then cross at Newry Mitchels, Gerry Brown Park via a two-lane bridge crossing the Clanrye River and Newry Canal to a new roundabout on Fathom side, leading to a wide single carriageway climbing lane up Fathom Mountain; and a link to the Ellisholding  junction on the A1 southwest of Newry.

The proposed route would see the Southern Relief Road bridge cross over the Carlingford Lough Greenway, Newry Canal and Clanrye River. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie
The proposed route would see the Southern Relief Road bridge cross over the Carlingford Lough Greenway, Newry Canal and Clanrye River. Photograph: Columba O'Hare/ Newry.ie

Five routes were considered taking into account performance across the scheme objectives and the views of the public raised in a community consultation event.

It's part of a planned strategic transport link from the A1 Belfast-Dublin key transport corridor to the A2 Warrenpoint dual carriageway.

Southern Divisional Roads Manager, Simon Richardson said:“This is another key step in the delivery of the Newry Southern Relief Road  which if constructed will be an important link road between the key strategic corridor of the A1/N1 Belfast to Dublin route with the A2 and Northern Ireland’s second largest port at Warrenpoint Harbour.

“The route will improve ‎journey times and journey time reliability for strategic traffic between the A2 Warrenpoint Road and the A1/N1. It will also significantly improve road safety and traffic congestion within Newry City centre by providing an alternative route for strategic traffic.

“The proposed scheme will improve accessibility to both Newry City and Warrenpoint Harbour and support and maintain sustainable economic growth and employment within the area.”

A series of local exhibitions and information events will be held over the coming months that will keep the public and stakeholders up to date on the scheme development.

South Down MP, Chris Hazzard has welcomed the announcement: “During my time as Infrastructure Minister I was keen to prioritise this project and include it within the strategic forward planning schedule. I am delighted that it continues to advance through the statutory processes and will now move to a full Environmental Impact Assessment and extensive public consultation on the preferred route.

"This is great news for local commuters and the wider Newry and South Down business community who have been campaigning for an end to the congestion in Newry city.

“Not only will the delivery of this key infrastructure project improve journey times and accessibility to both Newry City and Warrenpoint Port, but it will also significantly improve road safety and traffic congestion within the local area.

“I want to thank departmental officials for their diligence and efforts in bringing this project forward in partnership with the local community. For our part, Sinn Féin will continue to liaise with all involved as we work towards the successful delivery of this highly anticipated project.”

It is envisaged that a ‘Stage 3 Engineering Report’ which will provide the detailed design of the new route could be complete in late 2019 or early 2020.

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