The issue of road safety surrounding the Orchard and Bellspark roads has caused many casualties over the years. Councillor Edwards (SDLP) said, “it has become notorious over recent years for many serious accidents” due to poor visibility which leads to drivers driving straight through the junction.
There have been a number of very serious accidents at this junction. Councillor McHugh (SF) said there has been as many as, “three accidents in the course of two weeks.” One of the accidents which occurred at this junction required the NI Air Ambulance Service. Councillor McHugh said, “it is only a matter of luck that no one has lost their lives at this junction.”
The SDLP have been working tirelessly on this issue for a number of years with additional road signs being erected, re-lining work and the maintenance of grass verges but Councillor Edwards stated it, “has not had a significant impact on improving road safety and reducing accidents.”
There has also been an issue with HGV lorries in the Clady area which they have now found a solution in the hopes of improving the safety of the junction but more needs to be done. The Minister of Infrastructure wants a long-term solution and has called for a staggered junction to be put in place. However, the progress of this has stalled and councillors raised questions over this as the budget has been previously approved. In the interest of the health and safety of motorists it needs to be brought forward.
Residents of the Glebe and Clady area have been left scared and frightened whilst driving on this road and have asked, “When is enough, enough?”
Minister Mallon (SDLP) visited the area and saw first-hand the dangers that exist and gave her full support in making the junction safer.