Third bridge is ultimate solution: MLA

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East Londonderry MLA Claire Sugden says she will press new Roads Minister Michelle McIlveen to find a solution to the traffic issues at Castlerock Road in Coleraine.

In an oral question to the DRD Minister last week, Ms Sugden raised the issue of road safety and bottleneck concerns and invited Minister McIveen to view the situation for herself.

She told The Times on Monday that the ‘ultimate solution’ to the problem is a third bridge for Coleraine.

“This has been a long running battle, said the MLA. “I held a public meeting some time ago, representatives from each of the schools were present alongside residents. After that I put together a policy paper, with possible solutions and presented this to Danny Kennedy, who was DRD Minister at the time.

“After this things stalled a little, and I thought given last week’s opportunity to question the new Minister, that would flag it up again.”

MLA Sugden was critical of the Education Minister, John O’Dowd’s decision making, she said: “I asked Minister McIlveen if she would work with the Department of Education. I believe that this is the problem. We need more joined up thinking between departments.

“At present we have four schools in this area, but the numbers will swell even more when Coleraine Grammar School moves to one site, St Joseph’s will also be amalgamating with Loreto, and numbers will be increased at Coleraine College. We can see how things will only get worse. I don’t think that our Education Minister has thought about these other aspects in coming to his decisions about education in Coleraine. The ultimate solution is a third bridge, but that’s not realistic,” said the MLA.