More indicators in bid to halt speeders

More indicators in bid to halt speeders

29 July 2020

PLANS have been outlined to provide more speed indicator signs across the district.

The new initiative — which is part of an offensive being waged on drivers who break the law at a number of the district’s speeding hot spots — is being spearheaded by the district’s Policing and Community Safety Partnership.

New signs are to be erected at the Downpatrick Road in Ardglass, the Dundrum Road in Clough and at Saintfield’s Ballynahinch Road.

A number of signs have already been erected at the Strangford Road in Downpatrick, Newcastle’s South Promenade, Castlewellan’s Dublin Road and the Shrigley Road in Killyleagh.

The signs are designed to encourage drivers to slow down, with the new initiative warmly welcomed by a number of politicians.

Data from the speed cameras already in place will be analysed and it is hoped that a report on the speeds they have recorded will be available for politicians to study by September.

Politicians say that the cameras have the potential save lives by encouraging drivers to slow down in what are heavily populated areas, but there is concern about the location of the camera in place at the Strangford Road in Downpatrick.

A number of residents say while there is a need to get to grips with the speeding problem and that the Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) deserves praise for its initiative, they argue that the speed indicator sign is in the wrong place.

Residents say the sign has been placed just a few hundred yards from a 30mph zone close to the town’s war memorial and is effectively policing just a small section of road where there are literally only a handful of homes.

Further back along the Strangford Road, there are several major housing developments. There is also a busy local authority garage and depot and a private care home.

Residents say while this section of road is governed by a 40mph limit, very few drivers adhere to it with the speed of many vehicles which use the road described as “frightening”.

PSNI traffic officers are periodically deployed to the Strangford Road and while their presence is welcomed, residents believe that if the new speed indicator sign needs to be relocated if is to be effective.

Last week, a call was issued to Downpatrick area councillors to meet with PCSP officials to discuss the location of the speed indicator sign and press for it to be moved back as far as the entrance to Lecale Park.

Residents say that speeding has been a major issue along the Strangford Road for many years and that there have been several accidents. Concern has also been expressed about the safety of pedestrians who walk in this popular area.

Some Strangford Road residents say they cannot understand why the new speed indicator sign is policing just a short section of one of the district’s most busiest roads and has not been placed ahead of the approach to a number of large housing areas.