Collisions on Banbridge Road raise safety concerns

Two road traffic collisions occurring within hours of each other on the Banbridge Road, Gilford, have lead to demands for safety improvements on the stretch.

They come less than a week after a female driver was taken to hospital following a collision on the same road between Laurencetown and Gilford on Friday December 6.

The first of the two incidents on Thursday, December 12, involved one vehicle, a silver Ford Focus. It occurred at around 1.35pm at the junction of the Tullylish Road and Drumnascamph Road. A 36 year old woman was brought to hospital with a leg injury.

The road had been re-opened only minutes before a two vehicle collision occurred on the Banbridge Road in Gilford at around 3.55pm, involving a silver Honda Civic and red Toyota Corolla. Emergency services attended the scene and a 21 year old man and 74 year old man were taken to hospital. The road was re-opened three hours later.

“It’s a tree-lined road, so it’s often wet and slippy and can be dark,” said UUP councillor John Hanna speaking of conditions on the stretch.

“The road follows the path of the River Bann so it may be difficult to improve, but perhaps it’s time for the Council to sit down with Road Services to look at it in detail and see what can be done.

“I’m pleased there has been no serious injury, but any accident is unwelcome. My sympathy is with those involved and I wish them a speedy recovery.”

Also questioning if action needs to be taken, councillor Glenn Barr commented: “It’s time to follow this up with the PSNI and Department of Regional Development. I will be contacting them to see if further action needs to be taken”.

Gilford resident James Ewbanks said: “I think it’s time we took proactive steps - there is a particularly bad corner which needs to be looked at.”

Responding, the DRD have said they are working with the police to improve road safety.

“We already have plans in place to erect new bend warning and chevron signs with ‘SLOW’ road markings. Marker posts will also be erected to help define the edge of carriageway. It is anticipated that this work will be completed early in 2014.

“We will also assess the location in conjunction with the PSNI to determine if there are any further measures that can be considered.”

During a public consultation about the proposals in October it was indicated improvements would take six to eight weeks.

Police are appealing to anyone who witnessed either of these collision to contact them in Banbridge on 0845 600 8000.