Ogra Fianna Fail Writes Letter To Minister Mallon

Infrastructure Minister Gets Letter From NMD Ogra Fianna Fail

Infrastructure Minister Gets Letter From NMD Ogra Fianna Fail

Ogra Fianna Fail has written an open letter to NI Instructure Minister Nichola Mallon on issues of climate change and moving to the green economy.

Dear Minister Mallon,

Ben KIng, Ogra Fianna Fail secretary for the Newry Mourne and Down branch.

The Climate change crisis and the move towards a green economy have been welcomed and I recognise your work on improving public footpaths, green ways and creating dialogue with communities on what will hopefully be enhanced railway networks north and south.

Given the green focus and reflection on covid’s darkest days, we came to appreciate the simplest things and connected more with nature and traffic was at an al time low. Rising costs of living have put pressure on people to use their vehicles due to fuel prices.

I would like to set out a three point programme for Castlewellan and the surrounding area of South Down that will help ease peoples financial pressure, save the environment, boost tourism and connect communities.

  1. Translink need to operate a frequent service connecting Belfast to Castlewellan. The service between Newcastle and Belfast does not connect people in Castlewellan. It would make much more sense to collect people in Castlewellan first or on route given the population of Castlewellan. Workers and students are left without this service, forcing many to car pool, which has led to full car parks in the town centre, creating a hindrance to residents trying to access local service during the day.
  2. Secondly, Translink need to utilise the summer tourist potential of the seaside town of Newcastle, Historic town of Castlewellan  and seaside port of Warrenpoint and introduce a summer service which will bring tourists and locals to the tourist hubs, boosting business locally. Castlewellan is a tourist town, home to its diverse forest park and Castle. The hub of tourism is being neglected due to poor infrastructure opportunities that are not being capitalised upon.
  3. Lastly, Promotion of translink services for the youth is key. Outreach to school children and the community to use the Y link should be undertaken when there are services attractive for people to use in the area. A nitelink for Newry should be one point to consider. Newry is a growing city and with it a nightlife scene is going to perform poorly if safe and affordable transport isn’t offered. This could be introduced the same as Dublin bus, which offer a nightlink to towns outside the capital on a smaller scale in Nortthern Irish Towns or Cities.

I hope you can respond to this email and I wish you continued success in your role putting people first, to date you have excelled well in your delivery.

To Address these points would be of huge benefit to the people of Castlewellan and the South Down region going forward. I can be contacted further on the matter with the contact details I have provided.

Kind regards,

Ben King,

(Ogra FF secretary Newry, Mourne and Down/SDLP Area representative in Castlewellan.)