Rowallene DEA councillor Patrick Brown is urging the Department of Infrastructure to improve road safety throughout the Rowallane area.
He says that there is a clear demand from the surrounding communities for essential safety measures to be implemented.
Alliance Cllr. Brown said: “I am currently working with the Department across a multitude of issues from speeding in Crossgar through to a pedestrian crossing in Saintfield.
“Although the specific problems being faced by each town vary, they all ultimately focus on trying to encourage motorists to drive more carefully and to lower the risk for pedestrians and other road users.”
In Crossgar, the Rocksfield estate has been highlighted as an area of significant concern with constituents worried about the speed which drivers are travelling through the estate. This danger is increasing rapidly.
Cllr. Brown added: “As Rocksfield has enlarged in recent years, there has been a growth of young families and children moving into the area, many of who play outside in the gardens and on the adjoining pavements. Naturally, the expansion has also let to a higher volume of traffic flowing through the area.
“This becomes an issue, however, when drivers disregard the speed limit. There is a worryingly high chance of an accident occurring, between both multiple vehicles and pedestrians, and local residents would like to see steps taken to protect their community.
“In light of this, I am asking that the Department reviews the road safety provisions currently in place.”
Cllr Browns also said that additionally, Saintfield sees a large influx of children from various schools who get the bus to and from Saintfield each morning and afternoon, crossing the roads at multiple points to reach their parents’ cars or walk home, often when there is a great deal of traffic on the road.
He noted that a particularly bad spot is the crossing point on the Comber Road at the junction with Main Street (between Wineworks and the Presbyterian Church). At rush hour, this part of the crossroads has a continuous flow of vehicles, and so children are hurrying out into oncoming vehicles to get across whenever they see a gap in the traffic.
“This is not safe and, frankly, is an accident waiting to happen. I’ve asked that the Department considers the problem and implements road safety measures as soon as possible. I think that two-way traffic lights would be the optimum solution, but if that is unfeasible, I would suggest considering a pedestrian crossing further down Comber Road away from the junction.
“This would enable children and other pedestrians to be able to cross the street in a safe and controlled manner, thus minimising the risk of someone getting hurt.”
“It was pleasing to hear Council’s recent announcement about the extension of the 30mph and 40mph zones on the Crossgar Road leaving Saintfield, showing positive steps in tackling the issue of road safety across the district.
“I hope this approach can be continued to the problems I have raised in Killyleagh, Crossgar and Ballynahinch too, and I look forward to partnering with the Department as we move forward.
Furthermore, Roads Service have confirmed they will be meeting all political parties in the District in late November, and I will take this opportunity to raise these issues and others with them,” said Cllr Brown.