Belfast Telegraph

Road safety fears after Belfast pupil (11) injured near school

By Victoria Leonard

Politicians have called for action to tackle the "crazy" traffic on Belfast's Glen Road after a boy was injured outside a primary school yesterday afternoon.

The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service received a 999 call at 3.43pm yesterday about the road accident outside St Teresa's Primary School in west Belfast.

A NIAS spokesman said initial reports indicated a boy who is 11 years old had been knocked down.

Paramedics were sent to the incident and, following assessment and treatment at the scene, the schoolboy was taken to the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

A PSNI spokesman said: "Police received a report of a road traffic collision on Glen Road in west Belfast shortly before 3.50pm this afternoon involving a car and pedestrian.

"The young male pedestrian sustained a cut above his eye as a result."

SDLP councillor Tim Attwood, whose children attend St Teresa's Primary School, said that the Glen Road is one of the busiest in west Belfast.

"My thoughts are with this child and his family," he said.

"There is a need for people to drive slowly and with due diligence.

"On the Glen Road you have St Teresa's Primary School, the Christian Brothers' secondary school, St Mary's Christian Brothers' Grammar and, further up, St Oliver Plunkett Primary School.

"That's four schools near a very busy road."

Mr Attwood expressed concern that the traffic situation could worsen due to development plans in the area.

"I have expressed concern about the volume of traffic to the Department for Infrastructure (DfI), as there is the potential for between 300 and 700 homes in that area as part of the Glen 10 plan," he continued.

"We have argued for an arterial route between Hannahstown and the Monagh Bypass to provide some relief to traffic, an alternative means of travelling parallel to the Glen Road.

"It's already very congested, and any further development could make it worse.

"It's absolutely vital to ensure children can go to and from school safely."

People Before Profit MLA Gerry Carroll described the traffic on the Glen Road as "crazy".

He said: "My thoughts are with the young boy and his family.

"It is worrying and I would ask the DfI to come up with a proposal for traffic management in that area.

"People have raised concerns about the size and scale of the Glen 10 plan, and the fact that they would be building it in an area which is already congested.

He added: "It's not clear at this stage how the congestion is going to be dealt with, and in light of yesterday's accident I would call on the DfI and agencies to sit down to ensure that a strategy is put in place to tackle congestion."

No response had been received from the DfI at the time of going to press.

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