‘Near misses’ near Dungiven schools prompts calls for action

The morning rush at schools in Dungiven. INLV5114-003KDR
The morning rush at schools in Dungiven. INLV5114-003KDR

There are calls for the installation of traffic calming measures close to where three schools are located in Dungiven after “a number of near misses in the run-up to Christmas”, according to a local politician.

East Derry Sinn Féin MLA Cathal Ó hOisín has appealed to Roads Service to take action “immediately” on the Chapel Road and Curragh Roads, close to where the schools are located.

“I have contacted Roads Service before, as has my colleague, Councillor Sean McGlinchey regarding these sites, to be told that there is insufficient traffic and a lack of accident history to warrant these measures,” said the assemblyman.

“A crossing patrol is in place at Gaelscoil Neachtain on the A6 which, even by Roads Service’ own conservative admission, carries some 14,000 vehicles, yet there is no visual warning lights.

“Likewise, on the Curragh Road where both St Patrick’s College and St.Canice Primary School are located, and where some 600 children and staff attend daily, there is traffic chaos several times each day, and the potential for accidents obvious.”

Mr O’hOisin said: “I would call on Roads Service to expedite these remedial measures at the earliest opportunity.”

The ‘Journal’ recently reported traffic concerns of Principal of St. Patrick’s College, Dungiven, Michael Gormley. He said the Curragh Road attracts heavy traffic in the mornings and afternoons when pupils are being dropped off and picked up.

“It’s a concern and we endeavour always to have someone here for the buses, parents and kids to stop the unthinkable from happening,” Mr Gormley told the ‘Journal’.

A spokesperson for the Department for Regional Development said: “TransportNI has met with representatives of St Canice’s Primary School and has agreed to put in place additional traffic management measures in the vicinity of the schools.

“Following an assessment it was found that the location did not meet the criteria for the provision of a controlled crossing.”