Spelga Drive residents ‘living in fear’ of speeders

RESIDENTS of a Rathfriland estate are “in fear of their lives” because of speedy motorists passing through the area.

Alison Norton told the Leader of a recent incident when she had to pull her two-year-old son out of the path of a speeding car which pulled into Spelga Drive and performed a handbrake turn.

The mother-of-two has now written a heartfelt letter to the District Policing Partnership in a last-ditch bid to get something done about the “increasingly alarming” issue.

Many motorists pass through the estate either coming from or going to John Street and Alison said it is only a matter of time before someone is killed or seriously injured by speeding and careless drivers.

The 200-yard stretch of straight road outside her house means Alison - who has lived in the estate for three years - and her neighbours are in a prime spot to witness the repeat offenders, she said.

“People seem to take advantage of being able to get up to a higher speed in the area outside our house,” she said, adding that the culprits include older drivers as well as younger people.

Despite numerous reports to the police regarding speeding motorists the woman said she had been told that PSNI “hands are tied”.

She has since appealed to the council to put pressure on Roads Service to install ramps in the hope drivers will slow down.

Four councillors met with Roads Service last week to raise the issue and it has since been confirmed that an investigation will be carried out into the issue - although a council spokeswoman said there is no deadline for this to take place.

Alison said, “As a mother of two young children I believe that speed ramps are now necessary to stop these offenders, as at the moment children living in the estat are in immediate danger of getting injured - if not worse.

“This is a built-up area with most residents having children or grandchildren.

“Even the elderly residents are concerned for their own safety. I feel that no-one should have fear the place where they live.”

Knockiveagh councillor Liz Ingram said the problem is not confined to Spelga Drive and that speeding needs to be addressed elsewhere in Rathfriland.

Police Neighbourhood Inspector Joe McMinn said, “We share the concerns of the local community in relation to dangerous driving and want to see speeding removed from our roads. We will continue to work with our partner agencies to address all elements of speeding and other dangers on our roads.”