Alliance Strangford MLA for Strangford and party infrastructure spokesperson Kellie Armstrong has slammed Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson after media reports indicating he supports building a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Following a report in the the Belfast Telegraph, the Foreign Secretary has indicated his support for the £15 billion bridge which was the subject of debate in Ards and North Down Borough Council earlier this year, Kellie Armstrong has said it is just a bridge too far. The result of that debate was for the Council to take part in a feasibility study with the Scottish Government to look at potentially building it between Donaghadee and Portpatrick, a decision Alliance party representatives criticised at the time.
Ms Armstrong said: “I’ve said before that this pie in the sky plan risks decimating our coastline, while installing massive motorways through North Down or East Antrim in order to facilitate it. There are those in Northern Ireland who seem determined to turn the Ards Peninsula, an area of outstanding natural beauty, into Europe’s largest lorry park.
“It would appear that Mr Johnson has seen the Alliance Party’s “Bridges not Borders” document on ways forward on Brexit and taken it just a little too literally. If the Foreign Secretary wants to commit £15 billion to Northern Ireland’s infrastructure, I would be more than happy to meet with him to discuss the more pressing issues such as creating a high speed rail link between Belfast and Dublin or investing in the road and rail network west of the Bann. These are the issues that would actually improve people’s lives and not just satisfy Mr Johnson’s desire for grand gestures.
“Whether it is a bridge across the English Channel or more than £40m wasted on the Garden bridge as the Mayor of London, supporting unfeasible bridge projects seems to be a reoccurring theme in Mr Johnsons’ political career.
Northern Ireland needs planned, strategic and targeted and infrastructure investment, not through this government by vanity projects.”