Date is set for Carntall Road safety meeting

Two young residents stay tight to the hedge as they walk up the Carntall Road. INNT 46-807CON
Two young residents stay tight to the hedge as they walk up the Carntall Road. INNT 46-807CON

A group of concerned residents from the Carntall Road have stepped up their campaign to have safety measures introduced on the road.

For over a decade the residents have been campaigning for a footpath to be constructed along the stretch of road from their homes to the busy Doagh Road junction.

The residents have been liaising with local DUP Councillor Stephen Ross about the issue, and a site meeting has been arranged with Department for Regional Development officials on Wednesday, November 18.

Resident Angela Bell has been campaigning on the issue for a number of years. She feels that until the footpath is introduced, pedestrians are risking their lives on the road.

“There are a number of children having to walk down the road to get buses for school. There are also elderly residents, and you just dread to think what could happen now that the dark mornings and early nights are here. There is a lot of traffic on the road, and after it was recently resurfaced, the traffic seems to be going faster. This has increased the need for a footpath to be introduced.

“Traffic lights were introduced at the bottom of the road after there was a fatality, but we still need the footpath because the road is still dangerous,” she said.

Councillor Ross believes that a path needs to be constructed before there is a serious injury or even a death.

“The issue is an ongoing problem, and it needs rectified before somebody is seriously injured or killed on the road. This issue has been going on for a number of years, and although surveys have been carried out in the past, nothing has happened.

“It may come down to funding, but there are serious issues involved, so we will be pushing for a path to be introduced. Apart from the obvious safety issues, there is also the issue of social isolation. Some elderly residents may not be able to drive, and if they don’t feel safe walking down the road in its current state, they may become isolated,” Councillor Ross said.

A DRD TransportNI spokesman said: “A footpath scheme for Carntall Road is currently being designed and will proceed subject to budget and successful acquisition of land. This road has also been assessed for traffic calming measures and listed for consideration of a scheme. However, there are no current funds to deliver a scheme here which would be subject to the usual consultation.”

The spokesman added: “DRD will attend a meeting at the site to discuss the way forward. TransportNI will consider views and take action where appropriate and where resources permit.”