Alex Easton MLA has written to register his very strong objection to the abandonment of the road section at the Green Road and its historical railway bridge.

Speaking today Alex Easton MLA said:

“You will be aware the section includes one of the former bridges that went over the original railway line between Newtownards and Donaghadee. I believe there is a significant risk of the demolition and removal of this monumental stone structure, of huge historic value and amenity value to nearby residents. I have visited this bridge on a number of occasions and feel the Department for Infrastructure is missing out on a very important chance to seize the opportunity to make something marvellous of this bridge, just at a time when people’s interest in local history and archaeology is at an all time high, and visitors are being brought to Northern Ireland.

I know of American visitors who, having fallen in love with neglected stone cottages in our fields, have bought and moved them, stone by stone, to the US, because they simply do not have built heritage of this antiquity in their own landscape. How very tragic that we treat these delicate, venerable relics with such scorn, and far from recognizing their significance and beauty, are allowing them to dwindle into neglect, and going to the extent of dismissing them by Orders of Abandonment!

Now is the time to recognize that every remnant of our built heritage is an irreplaceable asset, to safeguard all of them, and weave them into every conceivable future-proofed project because of their unique offering to the tourism industry. This bridge could hugely enhance the new Greenway system, just on the brink of being brought forward at Green Road. I believe this can be done sensitively, with advice from wildlife protection groups, so that its incorporation into the Greenway also continues to sustain a crucial little pocket of biodiversity, further enhancing the enjoyment of the visitors to the new amenity.

I would encourage the Department for infrastructure to tear up this Order of Abandonment before it is too late and priorities protection of this bridge. Please establish a way to weave it into the Greenway, and thereby present this ancient stone bridge to a treasure hungry public, and celebrate the achievements of our ancestors who built it to last. We have lost too many others before it.”