A pedestrian crossing on a busy Magheralin road has been described as a “critical pressure point for children and families” after a young schoolgirl was knocked down in 2021.
Despite the hospitalisation of the child, a pedestrian crossing on the Belfast Road remains a distant prospect.
And just the week before that accident, the adjoining New Forge Road recorded 37% of its traffic as exceeding the limit.
SDLP Lurgan Councillor Ciaran Toman says he has been reassured that road safety is a priority for Department for Infrastructure Roads and that a a controlled pedestrian crossing on the Belfast Road warrants further consideration following a preliminary assessment.
Commenting, the SDLP representative said: “For some time, I have been engaging with the DfI, highlighting the many road safety concerns in the village of Magheralin following a number of serious incidents. There has been a large growth in residential population over the last decade and with little to no investment to improve the road infrastructure, road safety for motorists, pedestrians and particularly school children have been a great concern for some time.
“Despite my concerns, DfI deemed that the speed limit of 40mph on the Belfast Road to be appropriate due to existing traffic calming measures such as a central hatching with red surfacing, gateway signs, 40mph roundels and traffic islands. This is a critical pressure point for children and families who walk or cycle to school and presents a major risk given the volume of traffic and the age of those crossing at this point.
“Following an incident that involved school pupils, an assessment for a controlled pedestrian crossing had been agreed. Ever since that incident in 2021, I have been pushing DfI to conduct this assessment and I am pleased that after the preliminary assessment, a crossing warrants further consideration.
“The potential for such a scheme will provide a safe crossing point for all and will slow the speed of motorists when in use. This will be considered for further development, but DfI are currently focusing on the delivery of the current works programme for this year. Despite this, this is a step forward with it now on the agenda of DfI Roads.
“Our campaign to improve road safety will continue and any warranted scheme must have the financial commitment to have the improved measures in place as soon as possible. I hope this brings some good news to the community of Magheralin that DfI are listening, and I will continue to give a voice to their concerns.”