Reopening an asserted public right of way between Bessbrook and Newry.
The Council asserted the Public Right Of Way between Newry and Bessbrook in 2007. It is the only totally off-road pedestrian link between Bessbrook and Craigmore/Newry and as such it is a very important and safe access route. It is a beautiful countryside corridor which is used by locals and visitors alike. It has a particular historic significance as it used to be the route of the old Tramway line between Bessbrook and Newry. The path also passes under Craigmore Viaduct, the highest viaduct in Ireland.
The PROW had been in a poor condition. There was an issue with dumping and vegetation had become overgrown along the sides of the path. Also in wet weather part of the path became impassable
Funded under Axis 3, through SOAR, with additional funding from Northern Ireland Environment Agency and the charity SUSTRANS, the project reopened an asserted Public Right of Way (PROW) which runs between the Millvale Road in Bessbrook and the Craigmore Road in Newry. It is located between two heavily populated areas. The project included the cleaning, the cutting back of vegetaion, drainage, resurfacing of the pathway and the erection of traffic control measures and Public Right Of Way country code and leave no trace signage.
This project has improved this Public Right of Way for people of all ages to enjoy. The lane is strategically located offering the opportunity to link two major Waymarked Ways (Ring of Gullion and Newry Canal). It has now been incorporated into route 9 of the The National Cycle Network and the Ulster Way which connects Belfast to Slieve Gullion. This project will offer health benefits and assist tourism development in the area and will allow local people of all ages and of most abilities to observe natural habitats, enjoy a true countryside experience, to access a listed historic monument.