Opposition to Bannfoot footbridge

Bann Foot at Derrytrasna
Bann Foot at Derrytrasna

Residents in the Derryinver and Charlestown village are ‘extremely strongly’ opposed to a bridge at the Bannfoot.

Hazel Guiney of the Derryinver Community Association said any bridge would ‘destroy our whole way of life’.

Mrs Guiney said: “It would interrupt and destroy our whole way of life, our culture, our standard of living, our quality of life.”

She said they lived at a ‘dead end’ with no through traffic in an area which is very safe.

She said it was a great area to bring up children, with no graffiti nor crime. “It is a place that people dream of living in,” she said.

As secretary of the DCA Mrs Guiney said she was aware that more than 95% of local residents were opposed to any bridge.

“It would not just be cyclists using the bridge but would bring in a lot of traffic as well. I don’t know where Declan McAlinden is living but there would be noise and an impact on the residents.

“And it wouldn’t just be cyclists,” she said. “It is about joining up the GAA, families and communities to visit. They want an easier way and say it is recreational. That’s fine but at what cost to our quality of life?”

“And the thought of 5,000 plus cyclists and cars,” she said, adding that around 150 residents would be affected.

Mrs Guiney said they planned to contact local politicians and the NI Greenways to voice their opposition.

“We will do anything to protect our lifestyle,” she added.

However almost 1,000 people have signed a petition to build a bridge at the Bannfoot.

For decades families and friends have been forced to make a 15 mile trek to see each other since the old wooden ferry at the the Bannfoot was stopped.

And SDLP councillor Declan McAlinden said he welcomed news that NI Greenways are looking at plans to erect a bridge at the Bannfoot.

However Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Council said that ‘at present there are no plans for a bridge at the Bannfoot and we are not currently looking into this project.