Newry & Mourne second highest road deaths: Concerns raised by local MLA

Posted by
info@newrytimes.com
Thursday, August 20th, 2015
Community, Politics
Sinn Féin MLA Megan Fearon has called on Roads Minister Danny Kennedy to rethink his cuts to road maintenance. psni48The Newry and Armagh Assembly member made the call after it was revealed that Newry and Mourne had the second highest level of deaths and serious injury on the north’s roads last year. Many of the incidents occurred on rural roads in the area, a trend visible across the north. Fearon said she was extremely concerned that the percentage of people killed on rural roads would only increase due to the lack of investment in maintenance. “The percentage of road deaths on rural roads accounted for 74% of the total number of people killed on our roads over the period of 2013-2014 and it is important this is addressed,” she said. “It is unacceptable that three quarters of everyone killed will be in a rural community given there is less traffic on these roads. I am concerned the lack of maintenance of the rural roadways and hedgerows will only increase the number of accidents in these areas. “If we are serious about tackling deaths on our roads we need to target the areas where the majority of these deaths take place and that is on the rural roadway network,” she insisted. “The Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy now needs to reverse his decision to cut back on maintenance of the roadways and their surroundings if we are to see these figures decreased.” The local MLA said that with winter on the way conditions would only worsen and Minister Kennedy’s ‘inability to guarantee he would rural proof roads’ provided no reassurance. “My colleague, MLA Oliver McMullan, asked the regional Development Minister, Danny Kennedy, would he ensure that the Winter Service Route Optimisation Programme, which deals with the gritting of roads, will be rural proofed,” she said. “His response was quite alarming and in my opinion could lead to increase road safety concerns at times of poor weather. Essentially Danny Kennedy stated that the current number of routes for gritting would not be reduced but personnel and machines may well be. “Given the fact that addressing bad weather is time limited and there is an urgency on getting roads gritted in a short window as temperatures fall and snow and ice accumulate it is clear that some roads, especially in rural areas, may not be gritted in time. “There have been occasions when so-called snap freezes or snow falls were not predicted in time by weather forecasts. Can the minister be confident that he can stand over his claims that all roads will be reached with less staff and machines employed? Fearon added, “There is a huge responsibility on the minister to ensure that people’s lives are not endangered. Going on recent form where grass verges at major junctions have been allowed to overgrow obscuring sightlines on our roads, people will be rightly concerned about this latest move.”

Would you like to advertise your business on Newry Times and reach thousands of people every day? Contact the Newry Times office on 028 4062 6520 or email Paul: editor@newrytimes.com

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed

-->

This website does not share personal information with third parties nor do we store any information about your visit other than to analyze and optimize your content and reading experience through the use of cookies. You can turn off the use of cookies at anytime by changing your specific browser settings.

We are not responsible for republished content from this blog on other blogs or websites without our permission. This privacy policy is subject to change without notice and was last updated on 16/01/2017. If you have any questions feel free to contact Newry Times by emailing editor@newrytimes.com

Log in