Accusations of ramp overkill

AFTER bowing to public pressure for traffic-calming measures in Annaclone, Roads Service is now being accused of overkill with its plans for 10 sets of “ramps”.

Support for the agency’s plans came from the SDLP’s Seamus Doyle recently as councillors considered the Southern Division’s interim report.

The safety of children in the area was of paramount importance, he said.

But DUP Councillor David Herron insisted the scheme as outlined was “a bit much”.

Mr. Herron said many people had contacted him about the plans and he warned that the abundance of obstacles would see traffic diverting onto the Fernhill Road/Sentry Box Road, which couldn’t take it.

Councillor Doyle, however, noted that some 200 children attended a newly opened nursery in the area and their safety had to take top priority.

The scheme was badly needed, he said, and the people of Annaclone would be deeply disappointed if it did not go ahead; cars were speeding up the long straight and it was “an accident waiting to happen”.

Councillor Liz Ingram agreed children’s safety was of paramount importance, but she could not see the need for such a string of ramps

“We’re not asking for the ramps to be done away with completely,” she said. “I just think the measures are too extreme on a main road.”

She had raised the matter with Regional Development Minister, Danny Kennedy, she said, and hoped some resolution would be reached.

Mr. Herron said two sets of ramps might be sufficient, but thought 10 was too much. “Anyone using the road every day, their car will be wrecked,” he said.

Divisional Roads Manager Kevin Monaghan said there was a sense of logic in what Mr. Herron said, but he was mindful of the substantial lobbying for traffic-calming measures.

Roads Service came by the schemes because people asked for them, he said, and the agency had been subject to major lobbying, so would therefore be proceeding if it managed to resolve all the objections.

They would, he added, be monitoring Fernhill Road/Sentry Box Road when the scheme was put in place.