Principal’s petition calls for road safety measures outside school

St. John's PS Principal John McWilliams and MLA Cathal O'hOisin.

St. John's PS Principal John McWilliams and MLA Cathal O'hOisin.

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A petition by a local school principal has drawn the attention of transport officials who have pledged to probe his calls to introduce road safety measures.

John McWilliams, principal of St. John’s PS Dernaflaw, says turning from the main A6 road to the local Foreglen road is “dangerous”.

He says 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 launched last month.

The petition has received support from hundreds of parents, residents and drivers, who all agree the junction is dangerous and change is needed urgently.

TransportNI have revealed they visited the site last week and met with Mr McWilliams and local representatives. They said they are assessing the site for any additional road safety measures.

Mr McWilliams said the road markings, lighting and pedestrian safety measures in the Dernaflaw area “are inadequate and pose a risk to the safety of local residents and those seeking to gain access, by car or foot, to St. John’s Primary School”.

Sinn Fein MLA Cathal Ó hÓisín has “huge concerns” about the way things are currently “given the huge increase in housing in the area and given the school population, and the speed of traffic on the main Foreglen
Road”.

Mr O’hOisin added: “I don’t see why there are turn-off chevrons on other parts of the main road, but not at this junction.

“My worst fear is the potential for dire consequences given the high speed of
traffic.”