Concern at NI Railways move in Faughanvale
Concern has been expressed after NI Railways closed a crossing in Faughanvale and restricted access to a piece of land popular with dog walkers and fishermen.
NI Railways have erected a permanent fence at an area of land which they purchased at the end of Shore Road in Faughanvale.
According to a local councillor, the area was used for some time by walkers and by fisherman.
However, the area is no longer accessible to members of the public since a permanent fence was erected.
A Translink spokesperson said: “Since 2010 we have been engaged in a closure programme of user worked crossings on the railway network to protect the safety of our employees, passengers and members of the public.
“As part of this programme, NI Railways purchased a piece of land in Faughanvale, Co Derry from a private vendor in 2015, in order to close the user worked crossing which accessed the land.
“The work involved removing the gates on the crossing and erecting a permanent fence.
“The closure of this crossing will not impact on members of the public as there are no public rights of way to the land.”
Terence Devine from Faughanvale said he had previously used the area for fishing, and had been doing so for the last 30 or 40 years.
“People walk their dogs steady on it and it’s a nice spot in the summer.
“I couldn’t believe it when I saw the gates. I thought it was maybe temporary because they were working at the railway line and when they were finished they’d open it up,” said Mr. Devine.
“It’s just something that was always there. It’s disappointing and it means now there is no access to Lough Foyle from the Faughanvale/Greysteel area. You can’t get near the water unless you travel to Ballykelly or Eglinton.”
Sinn Fein Colr. Dermot Nicholl explained there had been a railway halt at the end of the Shore Road in Faughanvale.
“People went there to walk along the embankment, or walk their dogs and fisherman would have launched boats from there and went fishing.
“I’ve been contacted by residents who feel aggrieved that the area they had used is no longer accessible for them. Obviously, people are looking for an explanation and I’m seeking clarification on this.”