We need better links to NW but not a road built on an unspoilt wetland

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor

The One Show recently featured the A6 - Heaney Country (BBC 1, October 26), reaching an estimated five million viewers.

It is unfortunate that an incorrect map was used showing the existing on-line route, i.e. the white line, rather than the controversial off-line route, shown in orange.

Known as the Red Route Variant this route has been the subject of a legal challenge since last September.

Standing on Aughrim Hill overlooking Lough Beg and the location of this route, I explained to viewers that it is not the need to upgrade the A6 that concerns so many people.

The question is why such an environmentally damaging route was chosen when so many alternatives exist.

The Red Route Variant cuts through a rare and unspoilt wetland that is of international importance.

We do need better connectivity between Belfast and Derry.

What we don’t need is to sink tens of millions into building on a floodplain, in the process destroying the peace and tranquility of so rare a landscape as Lough Beg.

The legal challenge looks destined for the Supreme Court in London where there is hope for environmental justice yet.

One thing is certain, there is no political vision to protect either Lough Beg or Heaney Country here.

In the meantime the Department for Infrastructure is forced to accept the contested stretch of road cannot be built for six months of the year, on account that it would cause a significant disturbance to wintering birds including the Icelandic Whooper Swan.

Doris Noe, Killough