Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Series of crashes prompts residents’ roadside protest

Residents living along the lower Camlough Road in Newry held a street protest on Saturday calling for road safety control measures to be introduced following a string of serious car crashes close to their homes.

The move was prompted after two separate crashes on the stretch of road close to Daisy Hill Gardens last weekend, which have brought the total to more than 30 in the last four years. 

On Saturday campaigners held a roadside picket to protest at the failure of the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) to address the issue despite the rising number of accidents.

A number of political representatives and community activists addressed the gathered crowd, pledging their support to ensure a satisfactory outcome for concerned residents.

Independent Councillor Gavin Malone claims residents are “terrified” and said traffic calming measures are “urgently required” at the site.

He revealed that a car belonging to a resident was written off after another vehicle smashed into it in the early hours of Sunday morning (July 21st).  The car was a replacement for the owner’s previous vehicle that was also written off in a crash at the same spot in April.

Having met with and listened to the affected resident’s concerns, Councillor Malone said: “The car is a replacement car for one that was written off recently, now this car is a write off.  There have been over 30 incidents here in recent years in this area, residents have told me.  Walls are wrecked. People are terrified.”

The councillor added that just a day earlier a car had mounted the pavement, narrowly missing two children who were walking by.  While in April an 11-year-old girl was just seconds away from being struck by a car that spun out of control and crashed into a wall on the lower Camlough Road.

DfI has previously said it has no plans to introduce safety measures, having stated that “there is no common cause that the introduction of engineering factors could improve” however campaigners are confident of reversing that decision.