Residents get the hump

TRAFFIC-calming measures introduced at Ballygowan Road are causing a headache for drivers as well as residents, it has been claimed.

Concerns have been raised by local residents regarding the large number of speed cushions positioned on the road - currently, there are 15 different sets of speed humps along this particular stretch.

Upper Bann DUP MLA Sydney Anderson said many local residents had contacted him about what has been described as “speed bump overkill” in the area.

“The DUP office in Banbridge has recently been contacted by a large number of residents who live in developments along the Ballygowan Road regarding the sheer number of speed cushions that have been set down along the length of the road,” he said. “Currently, it runs to 15 different sets of speed humps.

“There has been a long-standing concern about speed along this road and I know there has been a wish for traffic-calming measures to be put in place to help address that.

“But what a large number of residents have been saying is that the road is now in danger of suffering from speed hump overkill.”

Mr Anderson said his office had been in contact with DRD Roads Service and had asked officials to take another look at the situation to see if the number of speed cushions could be reduced.

“I know there are currently plans to introduce a whole series of similar schemes in different parts of Banbridge and there has already been work carried out on the Huntley Road to that effect,” added Mr Anderson. “We are now waiting for an official response from DRD Roads Service and will continue to press for maximum safety, while allowing for the greatest ease of traffic flow.”

Some residents who contacted the Leader also voiced their disquiet at the number and variation in size of the humps.

Alan McGowan said, “They are supposed to be traffic-calming, but they are not calming for the drivers. When was the last serious accident on the Ballygowan Road and why put a set 20 yards from the lights at the bottom of the road?

“Either side of the school would be proportionate and they should at least be the same height. It is typical of our civil servants to go for overkill as usual.”

Meanwhile, Deborah Savage said locals were happy to have peace of mind that night-time speeders would not be crashing into the back gardens of houses looking over Ballygowan Road.

Two other residents, Lauren Wilson and Charlene Moore, both questioned the height of the ramps. “They do need to stop cars from parking on the roadside at school,” said Lauren. “As for ramps, they are needed, but please make them the same height and level!”

Charlene agreed, adding, “I feel they are good to protect children, but they need to be the same height, as there are at least two that are far too high for some cars, including mine. There should be a recommended height for speed ramps.”

A DRD spokesperson said the speed measures in place were constructed in accordance with normal Roads Service standards.

“However, we are aware that some concerns have been raised and we will monitor the situation and if necessary make minor alterations as appropriate,” he added. “It is not intended to remove the existing measures or replace them with others that would be less effective.”