Transport NI accused of ‘putting lives at risk’ with shoddy south Armagh service

May 30, 2016

Sinn Féin councillor Terry Hearty has criticized Transport NI following the recent publication of its annual report to Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, accusing the body of letting the people down and putting lives at risk.

“Under the Ministerial direction of Danny Kennedy, Transport NI have let the facilities and services they are responsible for in south Armagh get into such a state that it is no exaggeration to say they have put lives at risk.  Vulnerable people right through the entire winter were left with shoddy street lighting, children walking to and from Youth Clubs on busy roads had to do so in the dark, elderly people in estates were left with no sense of security and right across the area hundreds of lights were broken, while, bizarrely, others were left on all day and night,” the Councillor said.

“Through their failure to cut verges at junctions, empty gullies and repair damage to roads, they have acted totally recklessly when it comes to the health and safety of the people of the area.  Danny Kennedy’s legacy has left this area in such a state that it will takes hundreds of thousands [of pounds] to get back to where we were, due to a lack of one year’s maintenance.”

Councillor Hearty says main routes as well as side roads have been affected.

“Not only have rural roads been abandoned but main roads like the B30 have been left with major holes that have gotten bigger and bigger due to a lack of basic maintenance.

“In their reports over the past number of year’s Transport NI have named a number of rural projects as priorities but they now appear to have dropped them.  Two years ago they approved a passing bay at the junction of the Newry Road onto the Creamery Road after lobbying from Sinn Féin councillors.   This was agreed and presented to councillors in a glossy brochure but has now been dropped; as far as we’re concerned that brochure is not worth the paper it’s printed on,” he fumed.

“The Loughross Road crossing onto the Blayney Road is a blind junction and people on Lough Ross Road feel like they are taking their lives in their hands every time they use it.

“We were told there would be a 20mph speed limit installed at Clonalig Primary School during the hours children were entering and leaving the school and that has never happened.

“We wanted the 30mph sign on the Glassdrummond Road moved up past the Poet’s Glen for the safety of residents in the area and also requested an inspection of the bridge at Larkin’s Road following concerns from residents,” he continued.

“These are not unreasonable demands.  I’m certainly pleased to see that Chris Hazzard [Sinn Fein] has now taken over the Infrastructure portfolio and am confident he will do what he can to undo the damage of Danny Kennedy’s toxic legacy.”