A County Derry farmer is appealing to Roads Service to install what he believes would be a life saving crash barrier on the road next to his farm yard where he fears someone could be killed.
Henry Colgan’s farm is situated next to a sharp bend on the Gortnaghey Road, outside Dungiven. His yard sits below the road with a drop of some 12 feet. He says there have been a number of accidents in recent times and fears without a crash barrier installed at the bend there could be a fatality.
“Two young people landed at my house two weeks ago and told me they went in at the corner, and I went down and it wasn’t a nice scene,” Mr Colgan told the ‘Journal’. “The car was stuck in a couple of trees and sitting on a trailer parked in the yard and, to me, it was a miracle they weren’t killed. A lot of things were in their favour, including the trailer being there, or the car could have gone completely over the body. This has happened more than once. It’s happened quite often, up to 10 or 12 times, and I would have thought for the price of barrier that if it could save lives it would be well worthwhile but, to date, no barrier has appeared so we have to do something about it.”
Angela McManus and her two children were minutes from home when she hit a patch of ice at the bend last month.
“I ended up in the ditch, and we were left hanging. Luckily, we got out and a few men came along and were able to get the car out without it falling in. It was very scary, and my priority was getting the children out safe,” said Angela. “I didn’t care about the car, but the need for a barrier is there and, even if you did damage your car it’s better than someone lying dead in the street because it will eventually happen.”
Mr Colgan said a crash barrier would be of no advantage to him, “but it wouldn’t be nice if you landed down in your yard and there was an accident and somebody kiled”.
Mr Colgan said he had contacted Roads Service in the past, and added: “In my yard there is an at least 12-foot drop and there is a wall of five foot because that’s all Council at that time would allow me to build up. There’s no point in talking about it, I would like something done about it.”
Sinn Fein Councillor Anne Brolly, who has been in contact with Roads Service, said: “You wouldn’t pay me to walk on that road. Roads Service need to take the necessary action to ensure the safety of people who drive on the road and walk on it.”
The DRD say they “are content to meet with Colr. Brolly on site to discuss”, while SDLP MLA John Dallat will raise the matter at Stormont’s regional development committee on Wednesday.