‘Lives at risk on South Armagh roads’ – SDLP Councillor

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Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

SDLP Slieve Gullion Councillor Pete Byrne has expressed concern that lives are potentially being put at risk on South Armagh roads due to lack of funding following the release of the Southern Division Interim Report by the Department of Infrastructure: Roads.



Speaking to Newry Times, Byrne said, “During a Special Council Meeting last Monday, Councillors were presented with the Southern Division Interim Report by Divional Manager Simon Richardson on behalf of DfI Roads.

“I was absolutely appalled to find that many roads in the South Armagh area did not feature in the report whatsoever despite a comprehensive list being compiled by myself and Kate Loughran over recent months.

“Through our DEA structures, I have identified roads that cause a significant risk to residents of Slieve Gullion and I fully expected the department to take these concerns seriously. This report seems to be ignoring representations the SDLP has made on behalf of ratepayers,” he insisted.

“During the meeting I was keen to highlight the need for traffic calming measures particularly around Schools and Churches as this is the most common issue being raised on the doorstep. The most notable areas being the Roxborough Rd in Dorsey, St. Michael’s Primary School Newtownhamilton, Chapel Road in Meigh and the main road through Mullaghbane.



“I was assured that an investigation would take place into the possibility of placing additional signage at these specific locations. I also urged Mr. Richardson to consider a pilot programme around schools and Churches to attempt to reduce speed in these areas.

“I did take issue with the claim that traffic calming measures aren’t a popular option. With the level of feedback I have been receiving, as well as the fact that there are over 400 requests in the Southern Division alone for traffic calming, it is a disgrace that current funding only allows for 1 or 2 of these requests to be implemented every year.

“I also do not accept that the policing of speed is a significant factor here, the main concern from local people is the lack of appropriate signage and in some cases speed bumps. Excuses around funding and policing will not wash if a child is knocked down and killed due to poor infrastructure,” he warned.



“As with my recent drive to ensure South Armagh fairly benefits from the Council’s Games Area Strategy, this is just another example of how our area continues to be disadvantaged for capital investment. Despite announcements of extra funding being made available, South Armagh did not benefit.

“The only assurances that were made in relation to roads was that a full Winter Service would be provided, similar to previous years. However, this does not fill the residents of South Armagh with optimism as the gritting service on our roads last year was appalling. 

Byrne added, “We simply cannot allow unelected civil servants to continue to oversee the further decline of our roads. We need a Minister in place to ensure the safety of road users.”



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