It is now just three days since an online petition was launched demanding action to curb the number of accidents on the Keady Road, outside Armagh, before someone loses their live.
The petition, as Armagh I revealed, went live on Monday night, in a bid to try and reach 1000 signatures before forwarding to Roads Minister Danny Kennedy.
It was launched after three accidents over consecutive nights last week – Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
Such has been the considerable backing and depth of feeling on the issue that the petition is almost two thirds of the way there already.
This evening, the number of you who have signed has reached 634.
We at Armagh I are encouraging others who have not already done so to firstly SIGN the petition and then SHARE with friends to encourage them to do likewise.
We do not want to see the momentum for this campaign lost or the petition overlooked.
The petition, addressed to Minister Kennedy, reads: “We the undersigned call on you and your department to take urgent action to have major improvements at Ballyards on the Keady Road, Armagh.
“This section of road is a notorious accident blackspot and yet Roads Service have failed to take any real and meaningful action to make improvements on the road.
“We appeal to you to have urgent works carried out at this stretch of road before someone is killed.
“This week alone, there have been three separate accidents on the road, with one local lady remaining in hospital because of her injuries.
“We urge you to use your Ministerial office to intervene and have improvements carried out without further delay.”
When it reaches 1,000 signatures, it will be forwarded to Mr Kennedy for consideration.
You are also invited to produce your own comments alongside the petition to let the Minister know your thoughts.
This stretch of road has had a history of bad accidents and the fear is that this will only continue unless something is done.
SDLP Councillor Thomas O’Hanlon said the road is a ‘”death trap” and has asked for an urgent meeting with Roads Minister Danny Kennedy MLA to push for real and urgent improvements.
“Roads Service can no longer ignore the problem at Ballyards,” he said.
“Over recent years I have had countless correspondences with the various sections of Roads Service and one section keeps passing the buck to the next. I fear if we don’t see serious action taken soon there will be a fatal accident and then it will be too late.
“We need to see a serious piece of work done at this location. Signage is not enough. We need to see the road realigned and measures put in place to try and stop these accidents.
Newry and Armagh MLA Cathal Boylan, who is Sinn Fein’s spokesperson on road safety, has added his voice to growing community demands for a road improvement scheme in this area.
“Keady Road has unfortunately seen more than its fair share of tragedy,” he said.
“Whilst previously lobbied for road improvement initiatives have helped address some of the accident blackspots along the road, such as at the junctions with the Tassagh and Newtownhamilton Roads, some parts of the road remain very dangerous, with tight twisting turns and often slippery surfaces at this time of the year.
“It is now imperative that the responsible Minster listens to the local community and representitives in their calls for immediate action on this issue before tragedy strikes again.
“I will be continuing in my efforts to make this a road safety priority.”
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