Newry Southern Relief Road - overview

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) Southern Division is advancing the design and development of a new strategic road link to the south of Newry City, between the A1 Dublin Road dual carriageway and A2 Warrenpoint Road dual carriageway. This would provide an alternative route for strategic traffic that avoids Newry City centre.


The scheme would link to the Eastern Seaboard (A1/N1 Belfast-Dublin) Key Transport Corridor (KTC), which includes road and rail links between Larne (via the Belfast Metropolitan Area) and the border at Newry, facilitating onward travel to Dublin and improving access to other regional gateways. The scheme is part of DfI’s Strategic Road Improvement (SRI) Programme and has also been identified within the Banbridge, Newry and Mourne Area Plan 2015.

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Background

Newry City has for many years suffered from traffic congestion, some of which has been relieved by upgrading sections of the Eastern Seaboard (A1/N1 Belfast-Dublin) KTC to a high standard dual carriageway.

Current Position

The Department announced the Preferred Route in October 2018. Subsequent feedback since that time has informed the design development of the scheme.  Feedback from the summer 2019 community consultation was considered in refining the emerging design used for the technical Scheme Assessment Reports, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and the draft Statutory Orders.  There will be further opportunities to comment on the developed scheme as the current design stage progresses.

The Department on 14th August 2023 published a prioritised list of major road schemes that will continue to be progressed.  There are a number of reasons why the prioritisation of projects, currently in the pipeline, was necessary, including the challenging budgetary position and constrained resources (in terms of finance and staff) and, importantly, the Department’s commitments under the Climate Change (NI) Act 2022.

The publication of the prioritised list of major road schemes, that will continue to be progressed, explains that development work on the Newry Southern Relief Road will continue to progress towards the next key decision regarding publication of draft Orders.

Proposed Newry Southern Relief Road Scheme

Illustrative Flythrough

Graphics for illustrative purposes only – scheme design under development and subject to change.

The current stage of the project involves finalising the specimen design and preparing the draft Statutory Orders, along with the EIAR, in advance of holding a statutory public consultation.  This work can now be finalised as a decision has been made on the proposed fixed bridge over the Newry Ship Canal.

Subsequent progression of the scheme to construction remains subject to the proposal clearing the statutory procedures and having a satisfactory economic appraisal.  The scheme has been successful in securing funding from the Belfast Region City Deal.

Cost

£85m to £100m (under review)

Environmental Assessment

The Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is continuing in tandem with the scheme development and design process. Assessments and surveys are ongoing and will continue until a final design has been confirmed subject to consultation.

This requires that surveys are updated as necessary and a review of the assessment undertaken regularly to ensure that the EIA remains valid and fit for purpose. This is in accordance with the EIA Directive, as EIAs must be based on current knowledge and established methods of assessment.

The work itself broadly entails a review of readily available baseline information, walkover surveys, quantified modelling and assessment monitoring, detailed field surveys and consultation with environmental bodies and other interested/affected stakeholders.  The ongoing assessment ensures the final design is based on the most up to date and current environmental conditions.

Scheme Documents

Guidance for Landowners

The link below provides guidance for landowners, residential property owners, agricultural property owners and business property owners who are impacted by road schemes. 

Community Consultations

Following publication of the draft Statutory Orders and the EIAR a formal period of consultation will take place.  This consultation will provide an opportunity for anyone who wishes to express an opinion on the EIAR or to object to the making of the Orders.  This is currently scheduled for Spring 2024.

Prior to completion of the final design stage the Department held a Community Information Event in Newry Leisure Centre in October 2023 which provided an opportunity for stakeholders to view the emerging final scheme proposals for the NSRR.  

Previous Community Consultations

 

Last updated February 2024

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