Safety concerns on Loughinisland road

Safety concerns on Loughinisland road

12 July 2017

TRANSPORT officials must prioritise the safety of Loughinisland residents, according to newly appointed Assemblywoman Emma Rogan.

Mrs Rogan, who took over from Sinn Fein’s Chris Hazzard when he was elected MP last month, has asked transport officials to consider new footpaths in Loughinisland when drawing up its next road safety programme.

She said residents had raised serious concerns about the safety of their children walking the Loughinisland Road. 

Acknowledging the financial restraints on government departments, she said it was nonetheless essential that action is taken before somebody is seriously injured.

“All age groups — including primary school pupils right up to elderly residents —walk along the road every day to and from the village,” she said.

“Not only are there dips in the road, there is a dangerous bend which makes walking safely in the direction of the oncoming traffic a very scary prospect. 

“Everybody in the local community is well-aware of the financial constraints on government departments but only a few years ago there was a serious accident on this stretch of road and it was a miracle one of the three young children involved was not killed. 

“In the interim I have requested pedestrian warning signs are erected to help raise awareness to drivers of the possibility of meeting pedestrians along the road.”

South Down MP Chris Hazzard added that residents had been campaigning for modifications to the road for several years.

“Officials have previously acknowledged that modifications could be made to improve safety, but resources were not available to prioritise any scheme,” he said.

“We are asking now some months before the 2018/2019 programme is finalised to give serious consideration to the Loughinisland Road.”