DONAGHADEE campaigners for a pedestrian crossing in the town have pledged to continue fighting after their appeals were turned down.
A total of 267 residents have signed a petition calling for a pedestrian crossing to be put in place at Moat Street, close to the Eurostar and the Post Office.
Parents with young school age children, older residents and dog walkers have all united in their bid to slow down speeding drivers and increase pedestrian safety.
Following this latest setback, the campaigners are determined to continue with the road safety drive and have called the roads bosses to consider an alternative crossing location further down the same road.
After carrying out an assessment, the Department for Infrastructure refused to install the crossing due to ‘several existing features’ such as the ‘garage forecourt entrance/exit, three vehicular right turn pockets, one into the garage and others into East Street and Park Avenue’.
Roads bosses stated that the crossing would be 2.4m wide, with 16m of zig zag keep clear markings on each approach, and vehicles exiting the named streets and garage must ‘have enough road space to exit and be completely parallel on the far side of the road as to not encroach into the other running lane’.
Voicing residents’ disappointment, Fay Speers, who is leading the campaign said theym are very disappointed, mostly because the Department for Infrastructure did not propose any other solution.
“They just said they can’t do a crossing it’s not physically possible,” she said.
“They were not looking at how to make the road safer, so it is quite frustrating. We take on board there are so many little roads coming on to Moat Street, so it is awkward.”
However Fay stressed that an alternative location for the crossing should be considered. “We are pushing on campaigning for the crossing to be further down the road, as a lot of people who walk to school would be coming from that end.”
“It isa busy road, it is a dangerous road,” she continued. “The traffic is going too fast and people can’t cross. The crossing needs to be installed, there needs to be traffic calming – that is not our preferred option but it is better than nothing at all.”
Councillor Mark Brooks said he was ‘very disappointed’ by the department’s decision but he ‘was not surprised’.
Mr Brooks said the council has agreed to write to the department to lobby for a crossing and will be looking for a more positive response.
“I think there is evidence that shows the amount of traffic at that part of town is higher than it was 10 years ago,” he said.
“We don’t want to be in the situation when somebody is killed or injured before action is taken. There is vast community support for the crossing.”
Mr Brooks agreed that an alternate crossing location should be considered. “To have the crossing a further 100 yards down the road is what I would be asking for.”
Regarding the costs of the pedestrian crossing, Mr Brooks said: “I think the developer (involved in the Moat Street development) should assist in the cost of the potential crossing. It should not be left to the public services. This is not over yet.”