LOCAL politicians have welcomed confirmation from DFI Roads Service that a re-assessment of traffic movements at the hazardous Urney Road/Great Northern Road junction will now take place.
The junction, which has witnessed several collisions over the years was the site of a fatal crash in April 2017.
Strabane grandmother Margaret McLaughlin (69) was the front seat passenger in a car her husband Pat was driving when a lorry ran a red light at the junction and collided with their vehicle.
The lorry driver, Brian Lynch (24), from Cloggagh, Ballyjamesduff, had neither insurance nor the correct licence at the time of the collision.
Following the crash, Mrs McLaughlin was taken to Altnagelvin Hospital but passed away from chest injuries early the following morning.
“Numerous and varying concerns have been raised with me and other party colleagues regarding the multiple hazards presenting at the junction where there has unfortunately been one fatal accident, other serious accidents and many near misses,” Sinn Féin MLA Maolíosa McHugh said.
“I have been lobbying the Roads Service on the need to re-assess traffic management as well as the operation of the traffic lights at this junction for some time. This culminated in a commitment being given by the Network Development Section last November that it would schedule such a re-assessment.
“Concerned once again about the delay in undertaking this much needed re-assessment and after once again contacting the Department on the issue, I now welcome confirmation received back from the Network Design Manager that a “traffic management assessment” will now be carried out this month…
“The letter states that if the investigation confirms that there are re-occurring difficulties for one, or both, of the Urney Road approaches, then consideration will be given to introducing changes to the design of the junction.”
SDLP councillor, Steven Edwards added, “This junction is a massive safety concern and action needs to be taken to rectify it.
“I’ve witnessed first hand the dangers in attempting to turn right at this junction onto the A5 as there is no dedicated lane. This should not be acceptable given that the junction turns into a main road. I’ve lobbied the Department and the Minister for action. That needs to happen soon.”