School children dicing with death walking on main road

SIR, — I would like through your paper to raise with local councillors the absence of a footpath at the Tollymore Road in Newcastle and along a stretch of the Bryansford Road past the Enniskeen Hotel.

The Bryansford Road is the main road to Tollymore forest park and is very busy with both pedestrian and road traffic in the summer. The road is also dangerous for pedestrians.

Sixty four new homes were added to the Tollymore Road recently increasing the rates income for Newry, Mourne and Down Council, but there is still no interest in adding a simple safety feature like a footpath for pedestrians. 

School children run the gauntlet with traffic at the Priest’s Bridge where there should be a separate pedestrian bridge and priority arrow signage for road traffic. The provision of 64 new homes and families mean more school age children risking their lives daily.

The local council has received a substantial increase in rateable revenue and builders have made money, but residents’ requirements have been neglected. 

I intend to write to local councillors to ask them to request the Department for Infrastructure takes action and stops moving 30mph signs without upgrading the accompanying infrastructure, for example, street lighting and pavements.

In the past, planners neglected to request the inclusion of footpaths when permission was granted on the Tollymore Road. Newry, Mourne and Down councillors have a duty to provide answers and explain why basic 30mph zone infrastructure does not exist for the increasing residential population of Tollymore.

There is also a need for footpaths and street lighting at the Bryansford Road near the tennis courts which could facilitate disabled people, visitors and residents.

I hope that other Newcastle residents write and support an awareness for road safety features like footpaths and disabled access around the town and help improve the surroundings for both residents and visitors.

As elected representatives, councillors have a duty to the electorate of Newcastle and I have felt let down by certain councillors recently. I intend to keep writing to them and the media in an effort to improve road safety and disabled access in Newcastle and Kilkeel.

I hope that all local councillors support my efforts and not treat road safety with disdain. Road safety should be a high priority for all public representatives.

Yours etc,