'˜Widespread concern' over road safety issues at Coleraine schools

Executive funding must be made available to improve road safety near primary schools in the Causeway Coast and Glens Council area.

Councillor William McCandless.
Councillor William McCandless.
Councillor William McCandless.

The appeal to the Department of Infrastructure comes from Coleraine Ulster Unionist Councillor William McCandless.

Mr McCandless said: “This is an issue which has been raised with by a number of school principals over the past year. There is widespread concern about the safety of our children and our desire to ensure they get to school safely, are in a safe environment while there and return home safely.”

The UUP has met with officials from Transport NI to establish what is being done to ensure children’s safety.

“I was particularly interested in the different type of speed limit signs which are available. One local rural school has what is called ‘Part Time Speed Limit signs’ which appear to be very successful. This system costs at least £50K per site depending on conditions, with ongoing significant maintenance costs.

“Over the past five years the budget for this type of work has been severely reduced. I understand the allocated budget for Local Transport & Safety Measures (such as traffic calming, pelican & pedestrian crossing and speed restrictions outside schools) in the Causeway Coast & Glens area is £170,000 this year.

“There is also severe pressure on resource budgets which would cover - among other things - the maintenance of signs.

“However, I also understand that Transport NI has been investigating a similar signage scheme which would cost approx. £10K to install. This signage is still being developed but would certainly assist in speeding up the programme. However progress would still be dependent on budget allocations going forward.”

Mr McCandless added that he is in contact with colleagues at Stormont “to seek answers as to what can be done to help ensure the safety of our children”.