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Calls for improved safety on road as girl (14) fights for life

By Christopher Woodhouse

Published 11/08/2015

There have been urgent calls for greater safety measures on a Co Down road as a teenage girl fights for her life after she was hit by a car.

The 14-year-old is in a critical condition in hospital after she was struck by a car on the Aghnatrisk Road, near Hillsborough, on Saturday evening.

Local MLA Brenda Hale told the Belfast Telegraph that Transport NI needed to immediately address the traffic and speeding problems along the road.

"I have been lobbying for this for the last four years, as soon as I was elected people were asking me to sort out the traffic and speed in the general area of Hillsborough and Culcavy," said the DUP member. "People use the road as a priority route to avoid the A1 at peak times, they come flying down that road. I would rather we were proactive rather than reactive."

The MLA said part of the problem was the various speed limits along the road.

Transport NI, formerly known as the Roads Service, said speculation about the cause of the collision was "unhelpful".

"The collision involving a 14-year-old cyclist and a car which took place at Aghnatrisk Road in Culcavy, Hillsborough, on Saturday is subject to a police investigation and it is not helpful for anyone to speculate on the circumstance surrounding it," said a spokesperson.

"Should the outcome of the police inquiry indicate any need for road improvements they will be give full and urgent consideration.

"TransportNI has not received representation to assess the need for traffic calming on the rural road where this collision took place."

However, Ms Hale refuted the claim that Transport NI had not been made aware of the need for greater safety measures. "I would contest that. They know the area and when we have looked at the area maps we look at the whole area, including the Aghnatrisk Road," she said.

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