Mayor takes lead in Magilligan campaign

Mayor of Limavady, Colr Gerry Mullen signing a petition to ypgrade the footpaths at Bellerina.  (2506JB26).
Mayor of Limavady, Colr Gerry Mullen signing a petition to ypgrade the footpaths at Bellerina. (2506JB26).

Limavady Mayor, Gerry Mullan says there has been talk about a footpath for the busy stretch of road in Magilligan for years.

While the Department of Regional Development say the scheme is under consideration, it’s not included in any current works programme.

“Roads Service say they’re looking at it, but I believe it is the money aspect that is holding things up,” Colr. Mullan told the ‘Journal’.

“In my opinion, they’ve basically shelved the scheme and that’s not good enough. We are not prepared to accept that because the people of this area deserve better.”

Colr. Mullan says residents he knows will not allow their children to walk or cycle on the road because it is too dangerous.

“I know people who have come to me and told me they won’t let their kids walk the short distance to the shop. Instead they make them cross the fields, because it’s safer! In this day and age that is unacceptable,” he said.

The part of the road causing concern has a speed limit mostly of 60mph and is used by people visitng and working at Magilligan Prison, Benone beach and those travelling to and from Castlerock and Coleraine.

“It really is a very busy road because it’s a main aerterial route, but it’s used by walkers, runners and cyclists. We’ve already had a local resident knocked down and left badly injured. We do not want to wait until another tragedy strikes,” said Colr. Mullan.

The SDLP man says he has lobbied Roads Service but to no avail. And so, frustrated by the situation, Colr. Mullan feels the only option left is a rally and a petition to Roads Service.

“The rally is set for 2pm on Saturday from Bellarena station to Bellarena Primary School, the route where we want a footpath installed,” he said. “Years ago there was a footpath from Heygate’s estate, and that was in the days of horses and carts. Now the area is much more built-up and traffic is much heavier. This road is now a death trap.”

A DRD Roads Service spokesperson said the proposal is on the list of similar schemes in the Limavady Borough Council area that will be developed in accordance with current policy and procedures.

“Subject to gaining approval at the various stages of the development process a scheme proposal may then progress through to prioritisation within a future years programme,” said the spokesperson.

“Prioritisation will take account of future funding availability along with a number of other key issues. This scheme has not been included in any current year’s works programme.”