52 casualties in three years at roundabout

Caw Roundabout. (DER0614PG072)
Caw Roundabout. (DER0614PG072)

There have been calls for traffic calming measures to be introduced at one of Derry’s busiest roundabouts.

Waterfoot Park resident Sean Doherty said people living in the area are being forced to “take their lives in their hands” daily because the only way in and out is via the Caw Roundabout.

“It is especially dangerous during morning rush hour, the afternoon school run and again around 5pm,” he told the ‘Journal.’

PSNI figures, obtained by the north’s Environment Minster Mark H Durkan, who is lobbying his Executive colleague Roads Minister Danny Kennedy on the issue, reveal there were 41 collisions and 52 casualties in and around the roundabout between April 2010 and March 2013.

Mr Doherty said he found those statistics “surprising.”

“I would say there’s an accident at the roundabout at least twice a week. It might be a case of people not reporting accidents. People living in Waterfoot Park know how bad it can be.

“The only way in and out is to wait for a break in the traffic and then negotiate the three lanes of traffic on the roundabout,” he said.

Mr Doherty said a possible solution would be to introduce traffic lights to the roundabout - similar to those at the other end of the Foyle Bridge on the Culmore Road.

“Drivers got used to that pretty quickly,” he said.

Mark H Durkan said he has been in contact with Mr Kennedy on the issue.

“Residents and road users approaching the roundabout find themselves locked in long queues due to the lack of traffic calming measures on the roundabout.

“Many road users have expressed they feel unsafe pulling onto the roundabout due to the lack of any break in traffic for them to comfortably approach the road.

“Having spoken with the Roads Minister in relation to the blight facing the residents of Waterfoot Park, I have today written to him again to urge him to take action to eradicate these collisions on this road.

“It is inexcusable to take no action to address these road safety concerns.

“The SDLP will continue to press this issue until we are satisfied this roundabout is made safer for all road users,” he said.