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Urgent calls for schools’ traffic calming assessments but no Minister to decide

Political representatives have demanded a site meeting to discuss traffic calming measures are introduced outside a south Armagh primary school.

St Malachy’s Primary, at Chapel Road in Camlough, was due to have been looked at for consideration of these measures.

But there were concerns locally following the resignation of Roads Minister Danny Kennedy that these might not proceed.

The ‘too-ing and fro-ing’ at Stormont over the Ministerial vacancy is adding to concern.

The DUP yesterday nominated Michelle McIlveen under ‘d’Hondt to replace the vacancy left by the UUP’s Danny Kennedy.

But her stay was short-lived as she later resigned the post.

The situation means that the need for work at St Malachy’s Primary School – and the need for assessments at other schools – is not going ahead at present.

Newry and Armagh MLA Dominic Bradley said: “The Chapel Road in Camlough is a very busy stretch of road and we have been approached by residents living in the area and those bringing their children to St Malachy’s Primary School expressing their deep concern at the speed traffic passes the school.

“Residents and parents alike want to see safety measures put in around the school which would help slow down traffic and we have contacted Transport NI in relation to this.

“I had previously raised this issue directly with the then Minister for Regional Development Danny Kennedy MLA before he left office and was awaiting of confirmation of a date for a meeting to be held on site, however this cannot take place as there is no Minister at the helm of the department.

“I have corresponded directly with the Section Office and have sought a meeting on site to try and make progress as a matter of urgency.”

Local SDLP Councillor Kate Loughran added: “There is a responsibility on all drivers to drive carefully, especially in close proximity to local schools. In this instance residents live in constant fear someone is going to be hurt or injured.

“This road is a very busy stretch of road and can be very dangerous both in the morning and afternoon times when parents are picking up and dropping off children at the school.

“Roads Service / Transport NI have plans to resurface the stretch of road in front of the school and we belive this is the opportune time to have traffic calming works carried out at the school.

“We hope to meet with representatives of Transport NI, the school, parents and local residents on site in due course.”

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