I realise this is just the latest of several announcements, but confirmation of the go ahead for Derrys 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, its 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 citys 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 UKs metropolis’s Millennium bridge linking the City of London at St Pauls 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.
Former BBC journalist and manager in Belfast, Manchester and London, Editor Spolight; Political Editor BBC NI; Current Affairs Commissioning editor BBC Radio 4; Editor Political and Parliamentary Programmes, BBC Westminster; former London Editor Belfast Telegraph. Hon Senior Research Fellow, The Constitution Unit, Univ Coll. London