The Maiden City’s new Bridge – a name needed that works for all

I realise this is just the latest of several announcements, but confirmation of the go ahead for Derry’s foot bridge across the Foyle comes as a relief. ( Update. I see Mick is transgressing on my Maiden City preserve on a similar theme –
( joke) – great minds.. just goes to show that not all North Down folk think that the world stops at Ikea.. ) In all senses, it’s a hands across the water exercise. It links the overwhelmingly Catholic side with its isolated historic Protestant centre to the main concentration of Protestants in the Waterside as well as catering for the well established shift of the city’s focus further downstream of the dual-deck Craigavon Bridge. The link to the development of the heritage remnants of Ebrington Barracks in the Waterside may in time create a twin city centre site on both banks of the Foyle that attracts both parts of the community. Appropriately for Londonderry, the project is an echo in miniature of the UK’s metropolis’s Millennium bridge linking the City of London at St Paul’s Cathedral with Tate Modern and the rest of the South Bank. (Let’s hope the Derry bridge doesn’t wobble – the river span is comparable.) At a time of recession this is a bold piece of social as well as physical engineering. I can only wish it very well in helping to stabilise the city demographically and improving facilities for tourism and business generally. The next big task is – what to call the bridge? Hume Bridge? ( too one sided?) Any cross community suggestions that everybody can sign up to ?
And a welcome footnote. Good to see that the Irish passport service will recognise “Londonderry,” thus producing a rare welcoming statement from Gregory.

  • Mick Fealty

    Not Ikea. The City Airport Brian! 😉

  • Blinding

    Bridge over Troubled waters !

  • Blinding

    The Maidens Meander !

  • we shall overcome

    the ‘No need to swim now’ bridge

  • Wilde Rover

    Lip Link.

  • Ben

    You can lead a horse to a bridge, but can you make it cross? If the traffic on the bridge is mostly coming from (and returning to) one side of the river, it could be a problem. Same if there’s hardly any traffic. I’m not pessimistic, I just hope it’s the best use of the money. Ben

  • bolies

    “The Big Saunter”

    I understand the hands across the divide intention, but pardon my cynicism if I predict the traffic is likely to be one way. Those from Derry…pardon…Londonderry will be aware of this too. More likely than not it will lead to the further dissipation of the once largely Prodestant Waterside to surrounding enclaves such as Drumahoe, Eglinton, Newbuildings etc. As for a twin city centre, you can pretty much forget that. Wittingly or not the council/various development initiatives/developers have created a shopping circuit that centres on Richmond Centre and Foyleside. Cities like London and Paris may be large enough to accommodate a city centre that spans across a river but Derry as you know Brian is little more than 100,000….a large town really. That being the case, you would have to presume that they will focus development in concentric circles around the established zone at the south east of the walls. Making the bridge a very expensive piece of Peace Process cosmetics. Money that, dare I say it, may have been better spent in other matters ie. the appalling aesthetics of the first three sites visible as you arrive at the Cityside of the Craigavon bridge which are at the entrance to the aforementioned established shopping zone.

    Anyway, this is all very curmudgeonly. It looks quite nice. I won’t personally have a problem with walking it.

  • bolies

    Looks like you squeezed that one in before me Ben. Kudos.

  • An fhirinne gharbh

    Droichead Londaindoire Cholm Cille Chalgaigh

    That should satisfy Gaeilgeoiri, Unionists, Christians and Pagans. The bridge may not be wide enough for the nameplaque, however.

    Either that or ‘Doire Trasna’.

  • St Columb’s Bridge?

    Derrykeighan has been renamed Londonderrykeighan. I’ll link to an image later.

  • Carnhill

    Will be a fantastic addition to the City. I think people are being overly pessimistic regarding the direction of the traffic on the bridge – although the plans for Ebrington barracks will have a huge influence on the future usage of the bridge. Certainly the squads of power walkers, pram-pushers, and dog-walkers who pound the westbank of the foyle will now have a nice diversion if nothing else !

  • Ben

    It’s the “if nothing else” that concerns me Carnhill. The Alienation Report came out of St. Columbs (and Queens and Magee and wherever else) a few years back, and tried to strike an optimistic tone. I think that there is grounds for some optimism, but precisely among (and for?) those who will be driving upscale cars across the Craigavon Bridge from the trendy new housing on the Waterside (off towards Newbuildings) and the people with time to power walk and such. But will the crew(s) from the Brandywell or Irish Street and Clooney be using the bridge? If not, alienation mocks the name of and vision for the bridge. But here’s hoping… Ben
    N.B. Four meters wide won’t accomodate an Apprentice Boys parade, so there goes that opportunity for progress.

  • “Good to see that the Irish passport service will recognise “Londonderry”

    Will they recognise the new Londonderrykeighan(?) [jpg]

  • padraic

    The Eamonn McCann Way or The Raytheon Riverwalk

  • bolies

    The Liam Coyle Link

  • Rapunsel

    Don’t care what they call it but using £13 million of EU Peace money on it. Bad idea.

    Community division and lack of reconciliatiton doesn’t exist in Derry due to the lack of a flashy bridge across the Foyle. Tnere are two already with one having two decks. It’s a big headline project which will look good in the SEUPB glossy publicity mags. Sorry but it will do fuck all for actual reconciliation at all.

    And this at a time when community groups in Derry are going to the wall due to the decline in funding resources etc.

    Also expect the cost to rise — don’t be surprised to hear it gets @ £20 million of Eu money due to poor budgeting and cost increases.

  • bolies

    ….no but seriously. They could just call it the Strand Bridge/Pass/Crossing (etc) and be done with it. Anything else will get either Gregory livid on Radio Foyle for weeks on end or Martina having a march to Stormont to rectify the injustice.

  • bolies

    Thank God there are actually people on here who see what a daft project this is. With all the coo’ing and aw’ing I heard today I thought I was being a grump. Spot on about the budgeting aswell Rapunsel.

  • Ben

    Yeah, but still, better a pedestrian bridge than the fekking statue of Columba clogging up the Foyle!

  • Chris Donnelly

    Brian

    If we’re talking about needing names that ‘work for all,’ then perhaps some people could do with remembering that another bridge through the city is named after a senior unionist politician, an individual also deemed worthy by the unionist powers-that-be of having a town named after him.

    Indeed, it has always been common practice by unionist authorities in the north to name civic buildings, institutions, roads, bridges and a town after prominent unionist figures or the British Royal family.

    Whilst assessing the fairness or otherwise of the ‘Hume Bridge’ proposal, it should not be forgotten that there is plenty of precedent in this regard, and it is decidedly one-sided, whether in Derry or elsewhere throughout the Six Counties.

  • piebald

    The Danny Boy Bridge …easy

    Droichead Buachaill Dinny

  • Dumbarton

    Bridge to nowhere?