Discussion to find solution for Bloody Bridge parking

Discussion to find solution for Bloody Bridge parking

4 September 2019

SENIOR Newry, Mourne and Down Council officials are to meet with roads engineers to explore ways of addressing a major safety hazard at one of the district’s most busiest roads on the outskirts of Newcastle.

During the summer months, the picturesque Bloody Bridge car park is always full, with many drivers parked on the main road adjacent to it, reducing a busy main road to one lane.

In addition, cars are also parking on a footpath at the Kilkeel Road, severely restricting pedestrian access.

Two weekends ago, there was major disruption at the car park with vehicles parking on the main road which also restricted the view of people who live nearby as they emerged from their respective laneways.

Residents have vented their anger at drivers whom they claimed show a “complete disregard” for the safety of other road users by their inconsiderate parking.

Concern has also been voiced about vehicles parking on the footpath, hampering pedestrian access, especially those pushing prams and who have young children.

In the past, concerned residents have called for additional parking at the Bloody Bridge with others suggesting the provision of double yellow lines to stop drivers using part of what is a particularly busy main road as an unofficial car park.

There is a field adjacent to the current car park which a number of local people have suggested could be used as an overspill facility. 

Mournes councillor Willie Clarke agrees that the issue needs to be addressed and shares the frustration of those concerned about a number of issues at the Bloody Bridge, in particular, road safety.

He raised the issue with senior roads officials during a meeting of Newry, Mourne and Down Council last week.

“The continuing issue of vehicles parking on the main road close to the car park needs to be addressed,” he said. “The car park is in council ownership and during bank holidays and at other times of the year the area is particularly busy and congested.

“There has to be a solution to this problem. Roads officials and the council need to work together to help improve the situation for the benefit of all road users and people who live in the area. I believe it is important that those involved get together to discuss potential solutions to the problem.”

Cllr Clarke said the main road from Newcastle to Kilkeel was a protected route, which may prove a barrier to extending the current car park or creating an access to any new facility.

He added: “Clearly, there are a number of issues at this car park that we need to try and resolve.”

The district’s divisional roads manager, Simon Richardson, said officials would be happy to have a meeting with council representatives to look at the issue.