We need a crash barrier before someone is killed - farmer’s plea

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A County Derry farmer has stepped up his campaign to have a life saving crash barrier installed next to his yard.

Henry Colgan’s farm yard sits some 12-15 feet below the main Gortnaghey Road, a few miles outside Dungiven, where there is a sharp bend.

Gortnaghey farmer Henry Colgan and Sinn Fein Councillor Anne Brolly. DERR2702sj1

Gortnaghey farmer Henry Colgan and Sinn Fein Councillor Anne Brolly. DERR2702sj1

Mr Colgan says several vehicles have gone off the road and landed in his yard.

Mr Colgan fears “it is only a matter of time” before someone is killed unless a crash barrier is installed at the bend.

“I’m fifty-fifty hopeful about it,” said Mr Colgan, after meeting with the Roads Service and the PSNI on Tuesday about the issue.

“My only concern is that there have been more accidents here than enough, and I don’t want to go into my yard and find someone has been killed. We need a barrier, urgently,” Mr Colgan told the ‘Journal’.

Sinn Fein Councillor Anne Brolly has been lobbying on behalf of Mr. Colgan.

“I’m very hopeful because I think the officials realise how dangerous this corner is,” said Colr. Brolly after the meeting.

“For people who don’t know this corner, if they skid or slide they are down into this yard. If you were going into a field there may be some protection but, if you go into this yard you have nothing.

Colr. Brolly added: “We have had a couple of near fatalities here where two cars came in.

“Luckily one hit a tree and that stopped the car and the bottom of the car rested on a trailer, otherwise they would have been killed.”

Colr. Brolly said she is hopeful a barrier will be installed.

“I think Roads Service realise they have a job to do. This is high risk,” she said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Regional Development

said: “An official from Transportni met with Councillor Anne Brolly and a local farmer along with a PSNI officer at Gortnaghey Road on Tuesday morning regarding their concerns about a bend on the road.

“Transportni will now consider if further traffic management measures are appropriate.”

Ruth Irvine, from PSNI Traffic Management and who attended the meeting, said police would monitor the stretch of road for speeding or other motoring offences.

Local woman, Angela McManus was almost home when she hit a patch of ice on the road during the recent bad weather. She said her car was dangling over the ditch. She agrees a barrier is needed urgently.

“I ended up in the ditch, and we were left hanging,” Angela told the ‘Journal’.

“Luckily, we got out and a few men came along and were able to get the car out without it falling in. It was very scary, and my priority was getting the children out safe,” said Angela.

“I didn’t care about the car, but the need for a barrier is there and, even if you did damage your car it’s better than someone lying dead in the street because it will eventually happen.”

Mr Colgan said a crash barrier would be of no advantage to him. He said it’s about saving lives.

“I would have thought for the price of barrier that if it could save lives it would be well worthwhile,” said Mr Colgan.