DEE MUM CAMPAIGNS FOR CROSSING

FEARS are high that ‘someone will have to die’ before a pedestrian crossing is installed along a ‘dangerous’ Donaghadee road.

Around 130 people have already signed a petition: www: https://chng.it/qpPVrXkG that calls for a pedestrian crossing to be put in place on Moat Street close to the Eurospar and Post Office.

Parents with young school age children, older residents and dog walkers have all united with one voice in their bid to slow down speeding drivers and increase pedestrian safety. Following mounting public pressure, the Department for Infrastructure have pledged to ‘complete a new assessment in the coming weeks to determine whether this location will be considered for inclusion on a future works programme in the context of other prioritised proposals’.

Local resident Fay Speers, mum of four year old Isla and two year old Charlie, rallied the call for pedestrian crossing action after facing increasing danger as she walked her daughter to school and tried to cross the busy road. Urging as many people as possible to sign the petition, Fay voiced concerns that local residents, young and older alike, were ‘risking their lives every day’ crossing this road to get to the shop or while walking to Donaghadee Primary School. The petition states that: “It has been said many times that a pedestrian crossing will not be installed until someone dies crossing this road, let’s not wait for that to happen. “It is time to put pressure on the Department of Infrastructure to ensure that we can get this crossing and make Donaghadee a safer place to live.” Said Fay: “It is really worrying how busy the road is and the speed of vehicles coming into Donaghadee. The traffic is heavy at all times in the day, but particularly in the morning making it extremely difficult and dangerous to cross the road. I think it’s only a matter of time before a serious accident occurs.”

She welcomed the public support saying: “It has been quite amazing how many people have felt really strongly about this. It thought it would be mostly families with children but it is also older residents who are struggling to cross the road.” Local residents also highlighted the increased volume of traffic now traveling on Moat Street given the number of recent housing developments in the area and the lack of speed limit signs. Residents Edna and Philip Robinson were keen to support the campaign, with Mr Robinson saying: “It is a completely dangerous road, with cars speeding up and down. There are no speed limit signs on this road.” Said Mrs Robinson: “We know this is a busy main road, we know the capacity has grown, it is the speed of drivers that makes it difficult to cross.” Resident Gail Skeats said a previous campaign for a road crossing was rejected by roads bosses but she was keen to support this latest demonstration of people power. She said: “They just come flying down the road. The rugby club is the only place with a speed indicator. They come hurtling down with their foot to the board. I have been overtaken on this road. There is nothing you can do about the volume of traffic but they need to do something about the speed. There are no safe crossing points between the Methodist Church and the new development at High Trees.” Said resident Anne Monson: “It is also older residents who can’t get across the road and carry their shopping. There is just so much traffic and lorries parking up on the road. You can’t see past them and cars are flying down the road.” Backing the road safety campaign, Donaghadee councillor Mark Brooks said local residents were ‘crying out’ for traffic-calming measures such as a pedestrian island or crossing for the past three years. “My concern is that the area in the last 10 years has become so busy because of the shop and the new housing developments, and it is only going to get worse.” Mr Brooks said: “We need to have a survey carried out on the amount of traffic. I have asked for speed ramps but because it is a main road we were not allowed it.” He said: “The local community have been crying out for about three years, there has been a gentle uprising by local residents. It is a heavily populated area with 30% of the population walking to the shop.” Mr Brooks said a crossing was installed at Bangor’s Windmill Road junction, leading on to the High Donaghadee Road, after a woman was struck by a car and killed in January 2019. He said: “I recall a similar situation on the High Donaghadee Road and a woman was killed there. I remember saying ‘did it take a person to be killed’.” To sign the petition log on to: https://chng.it/qpPVrXkG