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Third Co Armagh primary school to benefit from 20mph speed limit cut

A new temporary 20mph speed limit is to introduced outside a south Armagh primary school.

Clonalig Primary School, at Concession Road in Culloville, has been campaigning for the safety improvement measures for some time now.

Similar measures were announced earlier this month at St Peter’s Primary School in Collegeland and Moyallen Primary School in Gilford.

The system works by reducing the speed limits during early morning and mid-afternoon and at times when pupils are being dropped off or collected at school.

Confirmation on the plans for Clonalig Primary has been given by Transport NI officials and follows a meeting with Newry, Mourne and Down District Council.

Local Sinn Fein Councillor Terry Hearty – who has been involved in the campaigning for the 20mph system to be introduced – described it as “good news”.

He said: “This will be active during pick-up and drop-off periods and I have been assured it will be in place before the end of the financial year, which is March 31.”

Transport NI – delivering their interim report to council – also outlined ongoing works in the area.

But Councillor Terry Hearty – following the recent announcement of extra resources for roads maintenance – has said he will be keeping an eye on how this will be spent in the area.

He said that while there were some positive aspects to the report, any extra funding on roads maintenance should be spent in the areas of greatest need.

“I could rattle off a list of individual roads in the South Armagh area that badly need work done on them, but the overall problem is that the rural roads in general need a lot of maintenance and repair,” he said.

“We have a legacy of under-investment in this area. Thankfully that is changing; Sinn Féin Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard has recently doubled the council’s roads maintenance budget and invested an extra £10m in rural roads, while Sinn Féin Finance Minister Máirtín Ó Muilleoir has announced that half of his £30m Stimulus Package will go towards roads structural maintenance.

“Transport NI informed us that of the £10m Minister Hazzard has set aside for rural roads at least £1.4m will be coming to the area.

“With some of the worst roads in the country myself and the other south Armagh councillors will be keeping a close eye on where this is spent in the district.

“I highlighted a number of urgent projects that Transport NI should look at, including the Concession Road in Culloville to the Ballinacarry Bridge, which is in a dangerous condition, and the Coltressila and Dundalk roads, which are highly susceptible to flooding.”

He also highlighted the positives, adding: “Work on the Drumboy Road that we campaigned for is due to be completed this week and the major work being carried out on the B30 is underway.  I certainly welcome that and hope it will be completed on time.

“The dangerous junction at Creggan Bridge from Donaldson’s Road onto the Newry Road is to have two ‘Bridge Narrow’ signs erected, which is to be welcomed, but we argued that given the dangers there further traffic calming measures would be necessary.

“Roads in south Armagh are a legacy issue that there is no quick fix for, but Sinn Féin is working hard for the people of the area to get them the infrastructure they deserve.”

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