Accidents on dual carriageway stretch sparks road safety fears

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Road officials have said that nothing hazardous has been found in searches along a stretch of the Clooney Road dual carriageway after concerns over accidents.

A number of local community representatives have said they have been made aware of several accidents on the same stretch of the road from last weekend.

The stretch of road in question lies close to the entrance of the rugby grounds and the turn off for Strathfoyle.

Representatives for Elagh Youth Forum in Strathfoyle said they were contacted by one local man who lives along this stretch of road. In a statement the Forum said the man informed them of a number of recent accidents along this section of Clooney Road (four in recent days) and many more over the past number of weeks and months (double figures).

“Please be careful,” they advised, adding that the man was worried that someone is going to be seriously injured or worse and “has asked us to remind people to be careful whilst driving on this stretch of road.

“We are calling for DRD to investigate this stretch of road to determine the cause of many of these recent accidents. Some locals put it down to speed but many other disagree and want a full investigation,” he added.

Enagh Youth Forum said the big road sign signposting Limavady, Strathfoyle and Maydown has been removed by DRD following recent accidents in the area. The group have claimed: “It’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or a life lost. In the meantime we would appeal to motorists to be very careful and drive slowly at this section of the road.”

Responding to the concerns, a spokeswoman for the Department for Regional Development/Transport NI (TNI) said: “This stretch of road is used by 13,000 vehicles daily. TNI received two reports of accidents at this site. One on Saturday night and the other this morning.

“TNI have investigated this site and there is no sign of oil or any other substance that would have caused the carriageway to be slippery.

“There is a 50 mph speed limit on this stretch of road, Transport NI erected a sign that flashes up when vehicles exceed 50 mph as speeding has contributed to accidents in the past. We will revisit the matter again once we receive the police accident report.”

Enagh Youth Forum said the volume of local people using footpaths along this stretch of road highlighted the urgent need to progress the proposed greenway extension along the river to Strathfoyle, with car ownership in Strathfoyle now at 49 per cent.