More than ‘a bit of paint on the road’ needed

Sinn Fein Colr. Sean McGlinchey says the turning lane off the A6 into dernaflaw is "nothing more than a bit of paint on the road".
Sinn Fein Colr. Sean McGlinchey says the turning lane off the A6 into dernaflaw is "nothing more than a bit of paint on the road".

A Sinn Fein councillor is calling for increased road safety measures at a busy junction on the main Derry to Dungiven road.

Colr. Sean McGlinchey’s call comes after a recent accident at the junction of the Foreglen Road into Dernaflaw.

The turning lane for drivers is two-foot wide space, with an arrow painted on the road.

Colr. McGlinchey believes the road needs to be widened to give more space for drivers turning into Dernaflaw.

“The size of the turning lane is ridiculous. The footpath is big enough to drive a car on yet drivers turning in, on a very busy road, have to sit in a space no wider than two feet. That’s only a bit of paint on the road; much more is needed,” he said.

Colr. McGlinchey met with an official from TransportNI, along with fellow councillor Dermot Nicholl, and their party colleague Cathal O’hOisin.

“We’ve been told they won’t do anything, which is a disgrace. The Department say they’ve no money to do anything yet they can put in a footpath that’s big enough for a car to drive on,” said Colr. McGlinchey, who added: “There’s already been a number of accidents at this junction. The turn off is dangerous and there have been serious accidents at this spot.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Infrastructure said TransportNI officials have “agreed to review the warning signs and lines on the approaches to the junction of the Foreglen Road with the A6 at Dernaflaw”.

A petition by a local school principal was launched earlier this year. John McWilliams, principal of St. John’s PS Dernaflaw, described the turning from the main A6 road to the local Foreglen road is “dangerous”. He said parents have reported accidents and near misses on their way to and from school.

“Road markings are very poor and difficult to see, too narrow to allow road users to wait safely before turning and there is no lighting,” Mr McWilliams stated on his online petition which received support from hundreds of parents, residents and drivers.