Sinn Féin press Newry Mourne and Down District Council on keeping the Dundrum-Newcastle greenway project alive.
South Down Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard MP has asked Newry Mourne and Down District Council to look urgently at the feasibility of launching a “stunning” new cycle and walking path between Dundrum and Newcastle on the main line of the former Belfast & County Down Railway.
The South Down MP said: “In 2016 I was honoured as the then Infrastructure Minister to launch a 1000km Greenway Strategy that included the exciting possibility of rediscovering large parts of the former County Down Railway line.
“Whilst it has proven difficult for local Council to see the feasibility of connecting the highly successful Comber Greenway in Belfast with one of Ireland’s premier tourism locations in Newcastle, I remain convinced that such an ambitious sustainable green infrastructure project is the type of community investment we should be prioritising in the time ahead.
“In the meantime, I think it would be wise for the Council not to abandon the long-term vision, but work to deliver sections of the route that are achievable.
“This is where I certainly see the Dundrum to Newcastle pathway coming into play.
“Hugging the coast between Dundrum Bay and Murlough Nature Reserve, the pathway lends itself to some spectacular scenery and attractive tourism attractions.
“The local area is a fantastic leisure and activity location for tourists and the local community alike. And the wide variety of short stay accommodation is perfect for those who would want to utilise a traffic free path network such as this.
Mr Hazzard added: “Indeed opening up this stunning access to the Mourne area would not only help encourage healthy sustainable tourism, but would be a much welcome green infrastructure asset for the local communities in Dundrum and Newcastle that would benefit immeasurably on a daily basis.
Also, Sinn Féin Slieve Croob councillor Roísín Howell said: “Apart from the well known visitor attractions in Newcastle, Murlough Bay and Dundrum has so much to offer visitors.
“They have fine dining, a unique heritage, and world class nature walks, a greenway would be a fantastic addition to the existing visitor infrastructure and something Council should look at immediately.
“I look forward to working with Chris and local Council on this in order to deliver such an exciting project for the local area.”