Impatient pedestrians ‘dicing with death’

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Impatient pedestrians who ignore ‘don’t walk’ signals at the Foyle Expressway are “dicing with death”, a Derry City Councillor has said.

Sinn Fein Councillor Colly Kelly, who has raised safety concerns over the crossing several times since the official opening of the Peace Bridge last year, made the comment after leading street design expert Ben Hamilton Baillie said access to Derry’s city centre from the structure raised “very serious safety problems”.

Councillor Kelly said: “I raised this issue over the safety of the roadway around the Peace Bridge within days of it opening, particularly in around the entrance at the Foyle Expressway which has been extremely busy with hundreds of people visiting there on a daily basis.

“A number of concerns have been raised with me by both motorists and those visiting the bridge over people not using the pedestrian crossings at the back of the Guildhall and at Water Street to cross the expressway.

“They reported people running across four lanes of traffic, in some cases people pushing prams. There have been a number of near misses which were just split seconds away from major accidents being caused.” He added that the problem had become pronounced “at peak times”, particularly on Saturday. “This is a very busy road and anyone not using the crossing is dicing with death or serious injury.”

Martin McCrossan, Chair of Derry City Centre Traders’ Forum said the crossing near Derry’s Peace Bridge “is an accident waiting to happen”. He suggested that an overhead walkway would eliminate safety concerns while allowing the free flow of traffic and providing people with easier access to the city centre.