A6: Action call ‘before it’s too late’

The turn-off into Dernaflaw from the main A6 road.
The turn-off into Dernaflaw from the main A6 road.

Campaigners calling for action at a dangerous turn-off into Dernaflaw, just outside Dungiven, are hoping major improvements will be made “before it’s too late.”

Collisions in recent weeks, which left several people seriously injured, prompted local residents to mount a campaign.

It has to be sorted now before it’s too late.

Colr. Sean McGlinchey

St. John’s P.S. Dernaflaw principal, John J. McWilliams, who launched a petition on the matter, hopes the situation can be resolved.

“It does provide a level of stress to parents who are very keen that adequate road safety measures are implemented,” said Mr McWilliams.

Leon Faulkner’s mother was seriously injured in a collision last year as she waited to turn into Dernaflaw, approximately 200 yards from her home.

“Had she been able to turn successfully, she would have been home in 30 seconds,” Mr Faulkner said.

Measures are needed, he said, because of the growth in residential homes in Dernaflaw which, he believes, has almost doubled in the last 20 years, and the growth in pupils at the primary school.

Mr Faulkner says collisions which occur at the spot where cars wait to turn into Dernaflaw are “a health and safety consequence” of the inadequate state of the main A6 road.

“The housing has doubled in Dernaflaw, but the infrastructure isn’t any different.

“The A6 is the main road between Derry and Belfast, a 60 mph limit and it is not adequate. It doesn’t work the way it is now. You need a proper slip road.”

Sinn Fein councillor Sean McGlinchey hopes that, now Transport N. I. have visited the area, the appropriate action will be taken.

“I think they recognise there is a problem there and something needs to be done, and urgently before it’s too late,” said Colr. McGlinchey.

Colr. McGlinchey believes “it would take very little money to remedy the problem. You’re not talking massive funds”.

“If it’s £30,000, it’s worth it if it saves lives,” said Colr. McGlinchey. “I suppose the fear is with the plans for the A6 and the Dungiven bypass any proposals would be shelved in the short to medium term but I believe it has to be sorted now before it’s too late.”

A spokesperson for Infrastructure TransportNI said: “TransportNI recently met with the principal of the school and a local representative on site to hear their concerns. A response to those concerns will be issued to them in due course.”