Resident calls for more to be done on road

A resident on the Banbridge Road has called on the authorities to take more action on the thoroughfare after yet another car accident, the sixth one in the past three weeks.

On Saturday night, a woman was taken to hospital following the latest accident on December 21 around 9pm. The road was closed until Sunday around 2pm.

It was one of three crashes that occurred on the notorious accident blackspot over that weekend.

The same route was closed for much of Friday too after two accidents. In the first accident on Friday, a car crashed into a tree and the road was closed until 4pm. Then 20 minutes later the road was closed again following another accident and remained so until 9pm.

There have been up to 20 accidents on the same stretch over the past six months and six accidents in the last three weeks.

Resident Wendy McCartan, who lives close to where the latest accident occurred on Saturday night said that they were forced to take measures themselves to make part of that road safe.

They knocked down their wall to widen the corner to allow them easier access onto the road from their home.

She said more needs to be done and claimed that a public consultation which was to have taken place in October never actually took place.

“We have been in contact with councillors and the DoE about this road,” she said. “No public consultation ever took place. There have been already six accidents in the last three weeks.

“We had to take a wall away to widen the corner to allow us access onto the road. Someone has already been killed on the road some time ago and a plaque has been placed there in her memory. How many more people need to die before something is done? This road is so dangerous but more needs to be done. What does it take another fatality before something is done?

“There is already a road sign but clearly more needs to be done. We have read that local politicians are going to contact the road services but there are too many accidents here and any action needs to be taken now, as a matter of urgency.

“This is now an accident blackspot. It is only a matter of time before something else happens. The road really is bad and everyone is up in arms.”

Earlier this month there were two other road traffic collisions. On December 6 a female driver was taken to hospital following a collision on the road between Laurencetown and Gilford. There was also another accident on Thursday, December 12, where a silver Ford Focus was involved at the junction of the Tullylish Road and Drumnascamph Road where a 36 year old woman was brought to hospital with a leg injury.

Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed any of the collisions to contact the police on 0845 600 8000.

The DRD have said they are working with the police to improve road safety. They have said that they have plans in to erect a new bend warning and slow road markings. Marker posts will also be erected to help define the edge of carriageway. The work will be completed early in 2014.