Ramping up safety ‘outweighs negatives’

The Black Shield for Excellence in ICT was presented to winner Ryan by Cllr Mark Baxter � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1426-228EB
The Black Shield for Excellence in ICT was presented to winner Ryan by Cllr Mark Baxter � Edward Byrne Photography INBL1426-228EB

The safety benefits of traffic-calming measures must outweigh any potential downside, a Donaghcloney councillor has said.

It was the message this week from a not unsympathetic Councillor Mark Baxter to residents who still harbour concerns over a scheme now under way in the village.

His “cautious” welcome for the work went hand in hand with recognition that some residents were perhaps justifiably concerned by the number of speed cushions planned.

Nonetheless, he said, it was the only viable scheme for Donaghcloney, where, after what he described as a seven-year battle, traffic-calming had been finally secured thanks to an overwhelmingly positive public response to Transport NI consultation.Moreover, he said, he had sought and received assurances that the ramps would be constructed so as to avoid damage to vehicles.

“The proposal does appear a little excessive,” he said, “and while it has the majority of public support in the village some residents are concerned as to the volume of speed cushions. I recognise where they are coming from and I’ve been liaising closely with Transport NI, who have given assurances that this is the only viable traffic calming scheme for Donaghcloney.

“They have also promised to work closely with the contractors to ensure the profile of the ramps are correct so that there will be no adverse impact on vehicles.

“I do give the scheme a cautious welcome as I feel that safety is paramount and surely outweighs any negatives the project has.”

Upper Bann MLA Stephen Moutray likewise welcomed the prospect of safety improvements.

“This is an issue that has been to the fore in Donaghcloney for many years,” he said.

“I’ve written to the DRD minister and met with officials on many occasions to discuss the traffic problems faced in the village .

“Safety on our roads is an issue I feel very strongly about.

“Later this month I’ve tabled an adjournment debate at Stormont concerning traffic safety in the proximity of schools.

“The safety of our children is paramount and I fully support Councillor Baxter in striving to make Donaghcloney as safe and as child-friendly as possible.”