Send in the Army: Campbell

DUP MP Gregory Campbell.
DUP MP Gregory Campbell.

East Londonderry MP Gregory Campbell has called for the army to be sent into Claudy to erect a temporary bridge to replace the one in Church Street swept away by the August floods.

And the DUP man says he has raised the problems facing the villagers with Prime Minister Theresa May.

Mr Campbell says he has written to the Department of Infrastructure regarding the problems that continue in and around the Claudy area following the severe flooding that occurred six weeks ago.

“If military assistance is required to ensure a temporary bridge for vehicular traffic so that full accessibility in and out of the village can be restored as soon as possible, then this should occur,” he said.

“Residents and business owners in a rural area such as Claudy should not have to endure this any longer than is absolutely necessary, if Army assistance is needed to speed up a satisfactory conclusion then it needs to be actioned urgently.

“I raised the issue with the Prime Minister shortly after the event itself, whilst there has been some work carried out it appears there is still considerable work to do. In the meantime, there is more than inconvenience being suffered by people not just in the village itself but in the surrounding area.

“Small businesses are also suffering as narrow country roads are now being subjected to much higher volumes of traffic than was ever envisaged as detours are in place.

“I have also raised the matter with the Secretary of State and have now written to the Dept of Infrastructure.”

Business owners in Claudy have reported severe drops in business in the village since the Church Street Bridge collapsed in August.

Additionally, there are fears for the safety of the bridge on the Cregg Road which is being used an alternative route, but which was never designed to cater for the volume and weight of the traffic it is currently experiencing. With the worse conditions of winter fast approaching, that route may not remain a viable option for buses and lorries.