Appeal for road safety measures

Appeal for road safety measures

18 November 2020

A LEADING government department has been asked to significantly enhance road safety across the Rowallane area.

The appeal has been issued by Councillor Patrick Brown ahead of a special Newry, Mourne and Down Council meeting with local roads officials at the end of the month.

He has confirmed that he’s currently working with the Department for Infrastructure across a range of issues from speeding in Crossgar through to the need for a pedestrian crossing in Saintfield. 

Cllr Brown said while the issues faced by each town and village vary, they focus on trying to encourage motorists to drive more carefully and to lower the risk for pedestrians and other road users.

He said a particular area of concern was the Rocksfield development in Crossgar where residents are worried about the speed drivers through the housing area, describing the situation as “extremely dangerous”.

Cllr Brown said given that the development has increased in size over recent years with more young families and children moving into the area — many of who play outside in gardens and the pavements — the expansion has led to a higher volume of traffic.

“There is concern that some drivers are disregarding the speed limit,” he continued. 

“There is a worryingly high chance of an accident occurring involving vehicles and pedestrians and residents would like to see steps taken to protect their community. In light of this, I am asking roads officials to reviews existing road safety measures.”

Turning to Saintfield, Cllr Brown said a large number of students travel to and from school by bus, crossing roads at various points to get into their parents’ cars or to walk home, often when there is a high volume of traffic.

“A particularly bad spot is the crossing point on the Comber Road at the junction with Main Street between Wineworks and the Presbyterian Church,” he continued.

“At rush hour, this part of the crossroads has a continuous flow of vehicles and children are hurrying out into oncoming vehicles to get across whenever they see a gap in the traffic. This is not safe and I fear is an accident waiting to happen.”

Cllr Brown has asked roads officials to implement road safety measures at this location by enhancing existing traffic light provision or providing a pedestrian crossing further along from the Comber Road junction.

“This would enable children and other pedestrians to cross the busy street in a safe and controlled manner, minimising the risk of someone getting hurt,” suggested Cllr Brown.

He also welcomed confirmation to extend current 30mph and 40mph zones at the Crossgar Road in Saintfield which he describes a “positive steps in tackling road safety across the district”.

He added: “I hope this approach can be continued in relation to addressing problems I have raised in Killyleagh, Crossgar and Ballynahinch and look forward to partnering with the government department as we move forward.