Motorists asking if right of way is wrong

The A26 at Dromore Street, which narrows from two lanes into one near the junction with Ballymoney Hill. Pic by Google
The A26 at Dromore Street, which narrows from two lanes into one near the junction with Ballymoney Hill. Pic by Google

The Department for Infrastructure has vowed to look into concerns about safety at a busy road junction in the centre of Banbridge.

A series of prangs and near misses have prompted calls for clarification over who has right of way on Dromore Street, heading towards Dromore Road, near the turn-off for Ballymoney Hill where the road narrows and drivers are forced to filter into one lane.

The carriageway is marked with a large arrow indicating that traffic should merge from the right, but it seems some road users in the town are still confused about who has right of way.

Some motorists in the town have suggested that the left lane is for drivers going up Ballymoney Hill, while the right is for those heading out of town towards the A1 dual carriageway. However, others are adamant that that isn’t the case, and that those in the left hand lane have priority as traffic has to merge from the right as the road becomes single carriageway.

John McCourt, who runs a furniture shop on Dromore Street, said road traffic collisions and near misses are a regular occurrence at the junction.

“Everyday you hear the horns going and drivers arguing about who has right of way. Everyone is complaining about it so Roads Service (now TransportNI) are going to have to do something about it. There have been a lot of minor incidents, but it’s only a matter of time before someone gets seriously hurt,” he commented.

DUP MLA Carla Lockhart revealed that she has been contacted by a number of concerned road users about the “confusing” junction.

“This is, in my opinion, a very confusing junction and I believe that TransportNI need to work towards informing the public better about the rights and wrongs of using the junction in question.

“I have consulted with TransportNI and am seeking a meeting at the junction. I will be in a better position to better inform the public after this meeting takes place,” she said.

Responding to the concerns raised, a spokesperson for the Department for Infrastructure commented: “The department is aware of concerns at this location and will review them. This junction has always been operational in this manner and motorists should follow the guidance indicated by the road markings and sign.”