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Police in dire need of a 'robust emergency plan'

I fully appreciate, and understand, that the PSNI and the other emergency services were faced with an extremely difficult and sensitive situation last Thursday as they dealt with an incident at the flyover on the A2 Bangor to Belfast road near Knocknagoney.

I would commend everyone involved in avoiding a tragedy by their professional response to the situation they had to deal with on the bridge.

However, I believe that the PSNI needs to have a more robust emergency plan in place to deal with the closure of what is one on the busiest commuter roads in Northern Ireland.

I understand that the first priority is to secure the scene of any incident and the safety of those involved but I believe that once diversions are put in place there is a responsibility on the authorities to manage the huge volume of diverted traffic. It is not good enough to send traffic coming to and from Bangor into the Holywood hills and abandon the drivers to sort themselves out.

I have heard many complaints from stranded motorists that the situation last week could have been better managed if some police officers had been deployed at strategic junctions, including over riding traffic lights, to help keep traffic on the move. I know that police manpower is limited at times but if a proper emergency plan was in place I am sure that police could be diverted from other duties around Belfast to ensure that traffic progression was maintained in the best way possible and lengthy delays only having to be endured in the early stages of any emergency.

Cllr Alan Chambers

North Down Borough Council

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