Officials to review lights sequencing following concerns

Officials to review lights sequencing following concerns

8 September 2021

ROADS officials are to conduct a major review of traffic light sequencing in Downpatrick town centre.

The move comes after the issue was raised with senior officials from the Department for Infrastructure by South Down MLA Colin McGrath.

There is increasing concern about the timing of traffic lights, with many drivers concerned that the lights at the bottom of Irish Street remain on green for too long, while those in English Street are not set on green for long enough.

At the start of the new school term, many drivers who use English Street will find themselves in the frustrating position of having to wait for up to four traffic light changes before they can make their way to Irish Street, Church Street or Market Street.

The issue in English Street in particular is long standing and is exacerbated by drivers who block the junction with Irish Street and Church Street, especially at peak periods.

Mr McGrath confirmed this week that he has been contacted about the traffic light timings by a number of residents and also been given a sense that some road users “nearly have to race across the road while the traffic has stopped”.

He said this has been particularly difficult for those who have additional physical needs, are wheelchair users or pushing prams and buggies, prompting him to ask for the review to be undertaken.

“Roads officials have agreed to conduct a full review of the operation of traffic lights across Downpatrick town centre, including the timings and will be completing this now that the schools have returned to full operation,” Mr McGrath confirmed.

“This will be reflective of the number of people that are making use of crossings on a daily basis and the need to ensure that they are timed correctly.”

The MLA said it is of the utmost importance to him that roads are as safe as possible for all who make use of them and that traffic is able to move through the town as efficiently as possible.

He added: “We are hearing too many stories of cars being delayed unnecessarily at junctions and at times when this is not reflective of the number of people either on the road or footpaths.

“I look forward to hearing the outcome of this review and will be impressing upon the Roads Service to ensure any adjustments or repairs that are needed are completed without delay.”