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McHugh demands answers on Foyle ferry 16.11.07

A DONEGAL North East T.D., has demanded to know whether there will be funds available for the continuation of the Foyle ferry from Greencastle to Magilligan.
Deputy Joe McHugh raised the question in the Dáil this week during a speech on the neglect of the border region in terms of transport infrastructure.
"I put a question to the Minister for Transport as to whether there will be a funding mechanism for the continuance of the ferry route from Magilligan to Greencastle in north Inishowen," he said.
"The response was that the Department has no responsibility in this regard. This points once again to the lack of joined up thinking in respect of public 
The Foyle Venture on route from Greencastle to Magilligan.
service provision."
Deputy McHugh said the North West was a peripheral area and the lack of railway infrastructure meant the region was entirely dependent on transporting goods by road.
He challenged the National Roads Authority to "give up the notion" that a particular road project is a stand-alone one simply because it happens to be a national primary or secondary road.
"Linkages can be created. Some of the finest regional roads can be as good as, if not better than, some national secondary roads," he said.
"I call for a broadening of thinking in terms of the strategic linkage between our national primary and secondary routes, on the one hand, and our non-national and regional roads, on the other."
Deputy McHugh urged the Minister to look at the roads along the Border within the new framework.
"Their condition is an absolute disgrace. The EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation and its successor, PEACE II, have filled a vacuum in funding in the past ten years. In terms of long-term strategic thinking, however, we cannot expect local authorities to meet the maintenance costs involved. We must adopt a strategic approach to developing these routes."
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