West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Mc Hugh criticises Transport NI continued neglect of Bellspark road safety issues

Published: 21 June, 2016

Cllr Mc Hugh pictured at Dangerous Bellspark/Prospect Road junction

Cllr Mc Hugh pictured at Dangerous Bellspark/Prospect Road junction

Sinn Féin Councillor Maoliosa McHugh has expressed disappointment that Transport NI has no plans contained within in the 2016-17 works schedule to introduce any measures to enhance road safety on the Bellspark Road.

He said,

"Despite making repeated representations to DRD Roads Service and now Transport NI about various safety concerns along the Bellspark Road, I am extremely disappointed that the Western Division report for 2016-17 presented to Derry City and Strabane District Council on Thursday contains no measures to alleviate various dangers along the road.

"For example, the Bellspark/Prospect crossroads junction has been the site of many accidents down through the years and I have been continually lobbying for increased safety measures at the junction including consideration to be given to staggering the cross-roads at the junction.

"Secondly, dangers on the Bellspark road are further increased as a result of HGV vehicles using it as a shortcut from the A5 to Donegal via Clady village and vice versa. Many of these large HGV vehicles are totally unsuited to using the one way bridge and trundling through the narrow streets of the village on a day and daily basis not least because of the major health and safety risks involved in particular to children accessing St Columba's Primary School. Not only is a safe crossing point required here but also the existing speed ramps needs refurbished.

"This issue has been the subject of a long term lobby from the local community and myself and when, last year, former Regional Development Minister Michele McIlveen announced a 7.5 tonne weight restriction on HGV vehicles using some roads in Hillsborough Village I have, given this precedent, been pressing for the same for Bellspark Road/Clady given it has arguably a stronger case."

"And finally, I have been lobbying Roads officials to introduce a 50mph speed limit on the entire stretch of the Bellspark Road given the multiple hazards which exist from beginning to end. Roads Service are refusing on the basis that the PSNI have advised them that they would be unable to monitor and implement this. However, when I challenged the PSNI on this line they refuted it stating that they are obligated to enforce whatever speed limits are in place and are at a loss as to where this line has come from.

"Transport NI needs to urgently review its 'inaction' in regards to various ever-present dangers and hazards on the Bellspark Road and hopefully we will not have to wait for a tragedy to happen before it is forced to finally act.