SOUTH Down MP Margaret Ritchie has welcomed the announcement by the Minister for Regional Development that he will publish the bridge order for consultation on the proposed bridge at Narrow Water, but urged the Minister for Finance to approve the Business case and provide the remainder of the funding for the bridge.
Ms Ritchie said: “Whilst welcoming the long-awaited and overdue decision by the Minister for Regional Development to publish the bridge order for consultation for the Narrow Water Bridge next month, I would point out that this should have happened on foot of the planning approvals in October of last year. Nonetheless, following representations to the Minister urging him to publish the notification, I am glad that it will be done next month. It is important that there is no further delays in this or any other aspect of the project.
“It is also vitally Important that the Minister for Finance who has also a role in this project stops procrastinating on this issue approves the Business Case and provides the remainder of the funding for the implementation of this much needed bridge. Narrow Water Bridge will enable many jobs to be provided in construction. It will also be a vital gateway to the Mournes on completion, and will be an important catalyst for economic investment and tourism not only in South Down, but throughout the island of Ireland.
“Such is the importance of this North/South tourism facility to South Down and the Cooley Peninsula and also to the island of Ireland that I have asked for the direct intervention of the Taoiseach and the British Prime Minister to ensure it’s execution.”
Ms Ritchie added: “I hope the decision by the Minister for Regional Development will lever further positive decisions in relation to this project to ensure its construction and completion. Along with the people of South Down, I look forward to the completion and use of the Narrow Water Bridge”.