Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

New parking measures at Slieve Gullion to ease residents’ ‘nightmare’

It is hoped extra staffing and new road signs erected in the vicinity of Slieve Gullion Courtyard will help ease the persistent traffic problems that plague the popular facility at busy times.

Sinn Fein Councillor Mickey Larkin revealed the new directional and information signs recently erected by Newry Mourne and Down District Council will help to alleviate traffic congestion and parking problems which have caused anger and frustration to residents of nearby Wood Road.  Although the park itself operates a one-way traffic system, this is not the case on the exit route at Wood Road where residents have complained of being unable to access their homes with cars parked on the roadside and blocking driveway entrances.

The Council has been proactive in attempting to alleviate the problem and recently introduced the new signage, along with extra staff to guide park visitors.  Councillor Larkin says the issue has been “a real nightmare” for those living close to Slieve Gullion courtyard.

Welcoming the Council’s response to the matter, he said: “Over the recent Bank Holiday weekend residents found themselves either trapped in their homes or unable to return due to the vast number of visitors to Slieve Gullion.

“Cars were parked in a haphazard fashion along the Wood Road blocking field gates and driveways.  Visitors believed that it was still part of the one way system and residents endured consistent blockages in their attempts to get home.

“I raised a number of issues with the Council, the PSNI and Transport NI in an attempt to ease the traffic problems caused by increase in tourism at Slieve Gullion.  The council has put in place signs informing visitors of two-way traffic, new exit signs, direction signs for Newry and signs warning of no access through Wood Road.  Staff have been placed to guide and advise visitors on leaving the site and cones placed to discourage parking,” he pointed out, while plans are in place to create a further 80 temporary parking places on the site.

“The PSNI have assured me that they will monitor traffic flow and I will be liaising with Transport NI in relation to this,” the councilor added.  “As the council continues to develop this site along with links to the Killeavy Castle project, it will be necessary to take on board the concerns of local residents to ensure that enhancing the visitor experience also has a positive effect on the lives of those who live here.”