NIE deny it is at fault for regular failure of traffic lights in Lurgan as fears rise of 'serious accident'

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Following a blame game between the NIE and the Department for Infrastructure over failed traffic lights at a busy Lurgan junction, plans are afoot for the two bodies to liaise on the cause of the problem.

The lights at the junction of Edward Street, Parkview Street and Francis Street plus lights at the Sloan Street junction were out for several hours on Tuesday.


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Traffic lights at the Francis Street, Edward Street junction in Lurgan have failed causing traffic chaos. Photo courtesy of Google.Traffic lights at the Francis Street, Edward Street junction in Lurgan have failed causing traffic chaos. Photo courtesy of Google.
Traffic lights at the Francis Street, Edward Street junction in Lurgan have failed causing traffic chaos. Photo courtesy of Google.


Sinn Féin described the Department for Infrastructure’s approach to fixing the junction lights as a ‘sticking plaster’ and called for action before there is a serious accident.

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However when contacted by the Lurgan Mail, the Department claimed the issue lies with the NIE. This was today denied by the NIE who said it had not received any calls regarding the outage.

One motorist said she had a ‘narrow escape’ while navigating through. Another said there were ‘a few near misses’ on Tuesday morning.

This is a complex road network with interconnecting lights involving two staggered junctions on one of the busiest approach roads into Lurgan.

Sinn Féin Councillor Mary O’Dowd has called on DFI Roads to find a permanent fix to the faults which have plagued the Edward Street Francis Street traffic lights in Lurgan for many years.

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Cllr O’Dowd said: "This is one of the busiest junctions in Lurgan yet the traffic lights are regularly out of order leaving drivers and pedestrians to fend for themselves.

"Twice this week the lights have been out of order and three times in as many weeks. I have lost count of the number of times over recent years that these lights have failed!

"DFI Roads sticking plaster approach to repairs is obviously not working and it’s long past time the cause of the fault was identified and permanently fixed before there is a serious accident.”

A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said: “The Department can confirm there have been some recent outages of the traffic signals at the Edward Street-Parkview Street-Francis Street junction in Lurgan, all of which have been caused by NIE Networks power failures, which is beyond the control of the Department.

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“The Department would advise motorists to ensure they follow the Highway Code and if traffic lights are not working at a junction or crossing, to treat the situation as they would an unmarked junction or crossing and proceed with great care. The Department will continue to monitor the signals at the junction to ensure their reliability for local motorists and pedestrians.”

A NIE Networks spokesperson said on Thursday: “We have investigated this matter and upon further inspection have not received any calls to the Fault and Emergency team regarding outages at the traffic lights indicated. The NIE Networks equipment was checked on the 19th July and all is in full working order.

"While some faults have occurred in the general vicinity (maple avenue) this is a separate circuit and should not affect supply to the traffic lights.

"Should the Department for Infrastructure have any further issues in regard to the traffic lights we recommend they contact us immediately so that testing can be carried out when the issue arises.”

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A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said on Thursday: “Officials will liaise with NIE Networks to establish the cause of the outages and if possible, implement measures to reduce the likelihood of it happening again in the future.”