Speed bump proposals spark chamber debate

THE issue of speed bumps caused quite a stir at a recent council meeting with calls for alternatives to be considered as a way to tackle law-breaking motorists.

The proposal to introduce a traffic calming scheme at Castle Hill and Hunters Hill Road in Gilford sparked suggestions from various councillors that alternatives to speed bumps should be considered, considering the reactions in other areas where humps have bene installed.

Councillor David Herron said police can play a bigger role in helping to stop speeding motorists.

“If police were more active we wouldn’t need these measures,” he said. “People get bumps and then there’s too many. There must be a better way.”

Councillor John Hanna also expressed concerns over the number of ramps Roads Service may introduce.

But Councillor Brendan Curran spoke in defence of the department officials who he said had gone to great efforts to explain why they must place the ramps so close together.

A letter from the department said, “It has been found that increasing the spacing leads to drivers accelerating and braking harshly between ramps resulting in a driving style that ends to cause increased noise levels and is at odds with the aim of calming traffic.”

Mr Curran said, “We need to look at alternatives.” Mr Hanna suggested a flashing sign which shows motorists what speed they are doing - this idea seemed popular with a number of councillors.

Responding to Mr Herron’s comment Councillor Seamus Doyle said, “The PSNI can’t stand 24 hours a day looking for speeding drivers. We should see what the people of Gilford want.”

Councillor Sheila McQuaid said people need to be more educated about the dangers of speeding.

Councillor Ian Burns compared the area to Stewartstown which he said had just the right number of speed bumps.

“Once these are on the road we can’t get rid of them,” he said, referring to the controversial bumps on the Ballygowan Road.

It was decided that the proposals will be taken to Gilford Community Forum and discussed with local residents.