Residents hit out at cross-border ferry plan
Tuesday, 8 January 2013
A RESIDENTS group opposed to plans for a car ferry service from Greencastle to Greenore have claimed that the £6m project could ruin the area's rich natural history.
Earlier this month the Democrat reported that Carlingford Ferries were preparing to submit planning applications on both sides of the border for the ferry scheme that they say would create 24 direct jobs.
However the Greencastle Area Residents' Group have hit out at the plans.
They believe the roads infrastructure could not cope with an increase in traffic and also said it would have a negative impact on the area's natural history.
Group chairman Diarmuid Cahill said: "The proposed landing site for the development on the Greencastle side is in front of a medieval church and a 1230s Anglo-Norman castle that was built by Hugh de Lacy.
“This development has the potential to ruin the rich and unique natural heritage that exists in the Greencastle area.
“The infrastructure for such a development does not exist within the Greencastle area. The roads infrastructure is unable to sustain an increase in traffic. The proposed development could see a potential 950 to 1,400 cars per day during peak summer periods. That is a potential 400,000 vehicles in one month.
“There is also the possibility that commercial vehicles and lorries make use of the ferry, adding more pressure to the road network."
Mr Cahill also questioned the sustainability of the project.
However, Paul O'Sullivan from Carlingford Ferries said: "We have several decades of experience in the ferry industry and have been working on this project for almost six years.
“This project would have a major impact on the cross-border tourism potential."
Mr O'Sullivan also said the ferry proposal and Narrow Water Bridge project could compliment each other.
The Department of Environment said that no planning application for the proposes ferry had yet been received.
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