Video: Elderly residents demand road crossing on busy thoroughfare

Elderly residents of Altnagelvin say they’re afraid of being knocked down when crossing the increasingly busy B523 at Irish Street and have appealed for the Department for Infrastructure (DI) to install a pedestrian crossing on the Derry to Ardmore thoroughfare to ensure their safety.

Senior citizens from Lisnamon Court, Lisnavar Court and Nora Frazer Court this week handed over a petition to a transportNI worker following a public protest outside their homes off Irish Street.

One resident, a Mrs. Logue, said a pedestrian crossing was essential, otherwise there’s a real risk someone will be killed.

“We’re out because we’re afraid of getting knocked down,” said Mrs. Logue. “What are you supposed to do.”

Heather Leslie, a peripatetic co-ordinator with Choice Housing, which runs the sheltered housing blocks, said:

“The residents are finding it increasingly difficult to cross the road because the traffic has increased over the past years tenfold.”

UUP Alderman Mary Hamilton agreed.

She said: “This road is so busy. They cross over here and go down Harberton Park to get the bus at Altnagelvin. They find it difficult.

“We’re standing here now and there’s a lot of traffic but at about 5 o’clock in the evening the traffic comes up Chapel Road to beat the traffic on the main road and it’s unbelievable. They can’t get across and some of them are able bodied and other ones are not able to get across, they have walking aids and walking frames, and I think we should respect them.

“I’ve appealed to the roads service, who are here today, and hopefully they can do something for us, but I will press on until I get success.”

A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said: “Departmental officials have met with a local councillor and residents and have agreed to carry out an assessment to determine if Irish Street meets the criteria for a controlled crossing.

“This survey will be carried out during September 2017 to ensure that school traffic is included in the survey.”