Gilford bus pick-ups are changed after child death

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Concerned Gilford parents have contacted local MLA Jo-Anne Dobson following the fatal accident where eight year old Adam Gilmour died after his mother and her six children were knocked down as they walked to meet a school bus at Cloughmills, Co Antrim, last Tuesday.

The Gilford parents have raised concerns about the safety of the school bus stop at Whinny Hill in Gilford – an issue which Mrs Dobson had raised with the Southern Education and Library Board last year on behalf of the Gilford Concerned Residents Group.

Mrs Dobson wrote to the Board on Tuesday of last week.

By Thursday the Board had contacted the private operator to change the way in which pupils are collected and dropped off to ensure that they no-longer need to cross the very busy road.

The Ulster Unionist MLA said: “Last June I warned that changes to bus arrangements in Gilford for pupils travelling to and from Tandragee Junior High School would put the lives of young pupils at risk.

“We all know that the dangers, especially for young children, increase dramatically on cold and wet mornings.

“ The junction at the bottom of Whinny Hill is an extremely busy place at just before 8am each morning.

“I have previously raised concerns on behalf of parents about this bus stop and wrote to the Chief Executive of the SELB to request an urgent safety assessment be carried out, especially in relation to the journey which pupils have to make to get to the bus stop.

”I am pleased that the Board has made contact with the private operator and that the pick up point for these children has been changed.”