Downpatrick junction scheme will be big improvement, but more is needed

SIR, — I was delighted to read in last week’s Recorder that work is finally underway on a £300,000 scheme to improve the Collins’ Corner junction in Downpatrick.

This is a particularly busy area but I fail to see how the proposed work will improve town centre congestion. Some of my neighbours also share my concern.

The scheme includes a new footpath at the Killough Road, left turn lane at the bottom of Pound Lane and new one-way system in Stream Street. All very welcome, but what about nearby Edward Street?

As children prepare to return to school in a few weeks’ time, roads officials have still not addressed a serious congestion and safety issue at this part of the town and appear to be dragging their heels.

A one-way system at this location appears to be favoured by many, but roads officials seem reluctant to introduce one.

In addition, why are these same officials not taking decisive action to ban heavy goods vehicles from Edward Street? Surely there is something that they can do?

Recent work in Irish Street — which has still not been resurfaced — the upgrade of Fountain Street and the current Collins’ Corner scheme are all welcome. But more needs to be done.

Town centre congestion is as bad as ever with little prospect of it being tackled anytime soon, while the issues in Edward Street are a concern for many.

Roads officials are acutely aware of the traffic problems across the town centre and are slowly moving to address them. But progress appears to be as slow as traffic movement in Church Street and Market Street at peak times.

I hope the Collins’ Corner scheme is a success and I will be waiting to see schemes proposed for Edward Street and Downpatrick town centre, two areas which can no longer be neglected.

Yours etc,