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Officials ‘regrettably decline’ site meeting to discuss collision spike at Asda junction

The Department cited a "lack of information" on the number of recent collisions and the fact traffic signals were working properly in the area when turning down a request for face-to-face discussions

Northway Portadown

Roads officials have turned down a request to meet with ABC Council to discuss the rising number of traffic collisions on the Northway in Portadown and possible measures to reverse the trend.

It cited a “lack of information” on the number of recent collisions and the fact that traffic signals were working properly in the area when “respectfully declining” its calls for face-to-face discussions.

The local authority had asked for a site meeting with the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) at the Asda junction.

Lord Mayor Margaret Tinsley had asked at the monthly meeting in February that correspondence be sent after “numerous accidents”.

She said she would like to explore if “there’s something that we can do in terms of working with the multi agencies to see what’s actually causing these accidents, because what’s actually happening is, it’s not a single-car, it’s usually two or three vehicles involved whenever these accidents are happening”.

The DfI does not feel this is the way forward, however.

For a letter from David McCullagh, Roads Service’s senior network development engineer for the Southern area, says the Department was “not sufficiently informed to provide any meaningful explanation” in such a forum.

And it was therefore not felt that meeting on site would have any value.

The letter, which went before ABC Council’s monthly meeting on Monday night, says that the Department has undertaken a review of the collision history at the ASDA junction on the Northway.

It adds: “Although this signalised junction has been operating since late 2012 and with the Northway having an approximate annual average daily traffic of 19000, it did not meet the threshold of four collisions within a three year period in our policy to be investigated further.

“All collisions are investigated by the PSNI who will share any relevant findings with the Department and we will work closely with them to assist with their enquiries and take forward any actions that are within the remit of the Department.

“Regrettably, details of the most recent collisions are not yet available from the PSNI but a further review will be undertaken using the latest PSNI injury collision data once this is made available.

“We have also reviewed the operation of the signals at the junction and can confirm that they are operating correctly.

“Therefore, taking this into consideration along with the lack of information on the recent collisions, we would not be sufficiently informed to provide any meaningful explanation at a meeting and as such I would respectfully decline to meet at this time.

“I would add that one of the best ways to ensure the safety of our roads and fulfil our long term goal of eliminating death and serious injury on roads by 2050 is by changing driver behaviour.

“If all of us who are drivers do not change our attitudes towards speeding and careless driving, our death toll,
which has increased in the past year, will continue to increase.

“I regret that I cannot be of more help on this occasion.”

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