Path to open for schoolchildren

There has been good news for Donaghcloney Primary School as traffic congestion in the area is set to ease, following an agreement to open up a private pathway into the school grounds from the Monree Hill development.

David Simpson MP and local councillor Mark Baxter have welcomed the proposed DRD adoption of the footpath, which until now was privately owned and not accessible by local residents and school children.

Following the DRD commitment, Mr Simpson said: “This is welcome news for local residents and the entire school body.

“A number of complaints were made to DUP representatives following major traffic disruption in the area, after which we lobbied hard for this provision, and I am delighted that we have received a commitment that the path will be adopted and fit for use in the very near future.”

Councillor Mark Baxter, a member of the school’s Board of Governors, said: “Having worked closely with the school for many years, it was clear the need for the DRD to undertake ownership of this footpath.

“I am delighted that in the near future we will see delivery on this plea and I am in no doubt that as a direct result we will see improvements in the traffic congestion around the school.

“Traffic congestion has been a constant source of trouble for both parents and residents of Baird avenue for many years, so after much lobbying by ourselves, site meetings, letters and emails we are delighted that Roads Service and SELB have agreed to our request.

“The path has now been adopted by the DRD, and the SELB will provide the gate.

“We hope this will go some way to helping with the traffic problems at the school, and we are also continuing to work on having further provision for parking at the front of the school.

“The work will be carried out in the very near future.”

Donaghcloney residents have also welcomed the move.

“Being a Monree resident I will definitely walk to and from school as the main entrance is a nightmare,” said Alison Davidson.

Roy Dreaning said: “Great job. Any change in traffic congestion is welcomed” and Jennifer Fisher said: “Glad to hear this, as both a resident and as a parent of a child at the school.”