‘South Armagh road safety must be priority’ – Fearon

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Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
Community, Politics
Sinn Fein MLA Megan Fearon has called on Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy to readjust his budget and make road repairs a priority before someone is killed.
Megan Fearon MLA and Cllr Mickey Larkin at the scene of the crash

Megan Fearon MLA and Cllr Mickey Larkin at the scene of the crash

The Sinn Fein MLA made the call from the scene of the latest single car crash to happen in South Armagh. “Just over a week ago the Road Safety Markings Association said that poorly maintained roads were one of the major reasons for a 30% increase in road deaths in the north,” she said. “In their statement the RSMA said they warned Minister Kennedy that a lack of maintenance would lead to this but he obviously has not heeded their calls. This latest incident proves the necessity for road safety, not penny pinching, to be his priority. “We are all dealing with reduced budgets but Ministers have a duty to use those budgets sensibly and wisely. In this case the young lady that crashed was lucky; unless Minister Kennedy makes immediate changes to the way he is running his department others will not be,” she added. Slieve Gullion Councillor Mickey Larkin called on Transport N.I. to enhance the safety of drivers by repairing damaged roads in the area. “Following a serious crash at Dromintee this week myself and Megan Fearon viewed the scene of the accident. A car had come off the road, crashed through a stone wall and landed on it’s roof in a field,” he said. “I spoke to residents on the road who were visibly distressed by the the incident. Thankfully the driver didn’t appear to be seriously injured but was certainly shocked. “On inspecting the scene myself and Megan noticed that the edge of the road appeared damaged and had the remnants of yellow spray paint along it. This defect had not been marked recently but doesn’t seem to have been rectified. This in itself is worrying.” “We could have had a tragedy. Any defect, no matter how low grade it is, can cause an accident. We have a situation where Transport NI staff are afraid to repair roads due to budget restrains under threat of dismissal. Larkin added, “This situation cannot continue. Road safety should be the first thought for this Department and cannot be compromised. If Danny Kennedy isn’t fit for the job he should consider his position.”

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