Caw driving ‘nightmare’ beyond a joke: residents

A van attempts to access Caw Roundabout from Waterfoot Park during the evening rush hour this week. DER1115MC099
A van attempts to access Caw Roundabout from Waterfoot Park during the evening rush hour this week. DER1115MC099

Residents of a Derry housing development say they’re putting their lives at risk every time they attempt to access a busy roundabout in the city’s Waterside.

Homeowners in Waterfoot Park say the traffic situation at Caw Roundabout is beyond a joke.

Driving out of the residential estate onto the roundabout - which serves four busy dual carrigeways - is, say residents, a “daily nightmare”.

They now want road chiefs to sort the issue out once and for all.

In fact, one resident believes DRD Minister Danny Kennedy should visit the area to see the situation at first hand.

The householder told the ‘Journal’: “This issue has been on the agenda for the past three plus years and, yet, there’s been no change in the situation. In fact, it’s getting worse.

“The problems at the roundabout are experienced at all hours of the day and, in particular, during peak morning and afternoon traffic flows. At times, we have to wait up to and beyond five minutes before being able to access the roundabout and it’s then that we’re taking our lives in our hands as we attempt to join traffic.

“I fear a fatal collision as we have to cross three lanes of traffic - all moving at speeds of 30-40 mph.”

Another resident claims Transport NI - which is responsible for public roads here - has consistently avoided the major road safety issues and, instead, has “deflected” these by putting new lane markings in place “which haven’t worked.”

Transport NI has also been accused of “long fingering” any intervention plan by linking it to “speculative retail development” in the locale.

“This is completely unacceptable given that there are no firm retail development plans in place,” said a resident.

Residents contrast the situation at Caw - which, they claim, is the only roundabout to serve four busy dual carriageways and an additional link road into Waterfoot Park - with the situation at Pennyburn roundabout where traffic lights are to be installed.

“Why the continued neglect of Caw?” queried a resident. “Why has Pennburn been prioritised? With an election just around the corner, this is something which, I think, local politicians need to address.”

In response, a spokesperson for Transport NI said: “Transport NI is investigating options to improve traffic flows at Caw Roundabout. It is hoped that viable options can be confirmed in April.

“However, it must be emphasised that the delivery of any scheme is subject to availability of funding and competing demands.”