THE Department for Infrastructure has confirmed measures are being put in place to address serious traffic concerns in Strabane, following a recent meeting in the area.
West Tyrone MLA Michaela Boyle and Sinn Féin councillor Maolíosa McHugh met with representatives from Transport NI in relation to the ongoing concerns at Prospect Road, Sommerville Road, Bellspark Road junction, Clady School and Clady Main Street.
Ms Boyle explained “The first meeting took place on the Prospect Road following a number of road traffic accidents at the Prospect Bar crossroads. Cllr McHugh informed Transport NI of the most recent incidents and while we there a number of lorries speeding and car drivers taking risks were visible, reinforcing the need for more safety measures.
“Transport NI informed us that in the short term it will be taking a number of steps to address the problems, these include; erecting new signage, installing an anti-skid surface which has the dual purpose of reducing skidding and will also alerts drivers that they are coming to a junction.They will also be improving sight lines by cutting down some foliage in the area.
“Long term, they are aiming to realign the road and make it a staggered junction. Because of the spike in the amount of accidents reported recently they are confident they will be able to acquire the funds necessary.
“We then moved on to the junction of Sommerville Road and Bellspark Road to discuss potential traffic calming measures as this is also a hazardous junction. After that we moved on to Clady School where we met the vice principal to discuss measures that will maximise the safety of pupils entering and leaving school.
“Finally, we visited Clady Main Street where a discussion was held in relation to the issue of HGV traffic through the village. Transport NI have been working on measures to restrict HGV traffic through the village following on from a visit to Clady by former Minister of Infrastructure Chris Hazard.
“The devising of the scheme is now at an advanced stage and road service will soon be at a stage where they can open them for scrutiny via a public consultation. We are hopeful the work at the junction of Prospect Road will start ASAP and will hopefully minimise the potential for further collisions happening at this accident black spot.”
A spokesperson for the Department for Infrastructure said, “We can confirm that a site meeting took place at the Bellspark Road/Orchard Road junction to discuss immediate and longer term proposals to seek to address an accident problem at this junction.
“Within a matter of weeks new signs with enhanced visibility, verge clearance and road markings will be provided at the Bellspark Road / Orchard Road junction, flashing warning signs and road humps will be provided at St Columba’s Primary School Clady, and consultation is being planned to discuss the provision of a weight restriction in Clady.”