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SF councillor hits out at fast drivers on busy Lisburn Castlereagh roads

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Gary McCleave

Gary McCleave

Gary McCleave

A councillor has hit out at the speed of fast drivers on busy Lisburn Castlereagh roads.

Councillor Gary McCleave warned that it was an ‘accident waiting to happen’, branding some drivers’ speeds as “scary” and “unacceptable”.

The Sinn Fein councillor called for action to tackle fast motorists on roads across the council areas before someone is seriously hurt.

It comes after the Lisburn and Castlereagh Policing and Community Partnership (PCSP) released the latest Speed Indicator Device (SID) results for the period since the Covid-19 pandemic began.

Among the shocking statistics, motorists have been recorded going over 100mph on the Ballygowan Road in Crossnacreevy.

The Glenavy area has also been identified as a speeding hotspot, with Cllr McCleave saying “boy racers” were clocked doing speeds beyond 96mph in an effort “to reach the 100mph mark”.

The LCCC councillor said residents were “fed-up” and have been complaining for months to put the brakes on speeding motorists.

“Before lockdown our roads and pavements would be very busy with motorists and pedestrians, including school children,” Cllr McCleave said.

“The trend that we are seeing coming into my area in Glenavy and right across the council area is very worrying.

“Our roads are not at their busiest at the moment because of pandemic and we’re still seeing speeds excessing way beyond the speed limit.

“Some of the roads in question are in residential or close to residential areas. Something terrible is going to happen if something is not done.

“I would urged all motorists to follow the speed limit at all times and to slow down when it is appropriate to do so.”

Meanwhile, it is understood that the PCSP have installed 22 speed indicating devices around the council area in an effort to deter motorists from speeding.

Councillor John Palmer said the devices cost the ratepayer a total of £52,000 with an additional £5,000 spent annually to service the devices.

The Downshire West Cllr proposed at a meeting of the full council earlier this month that the LCCC write to the Department of Infrastructure asking for funding for further devices going forward.

“There is at least another 10 communities across the council area requesting a Speed Indicator Device for their area," Cllr Palmer said. “These come at a cost to the PCSP and the budget.

“Ultimately the Department is the body responsible for Northern Ireland roads and safety on those roads. I honestly think it’s time they come up to the mark and provide some funding towards these devices.

“These devices are now common across the UK but not here in Northern Ireland I think it’s about time that changed going forward.”

However, Cllr McCleave has called for the Minister for Infrastructure to implement further traffic calming scheme across the council area.

He added: “DfI should be putting their measures in place. The Minister has constantly underspent her budget but we are constantly being told by the Department that the finance is not available for these schemes.

“Minister Nichola Mallon has underspent her budget and even then she has not requested additional funds from the Department of Finance. It’s baffling.

“If something is not done soon then someone is going to get seriously hurt. Traffic in the council area has been a problem for years and what is needed is action.”

The calls come after only over £4,000 traffic calming in Lisburn and Castlereagh area to date.

Figures from the Department show that £4,096 had been spent last year – a £34,000 drop from the year prior.

A spokesperson for the DfI said the reason for the lack of spending in the area was because “did not rank as highly as other schemes in Belfast”.

“The Eastern Division of DfI covers both Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council and Belfast City Council,” a spokesperson said.

“Unfortunately, due to challenging budget constraints, the Department is not in position to fulfil all requests and those areas requiring most urgent attention are given priority.

“The provision and maintenance of Speed Indicator Device (SID) signs are the responsibility of the local Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP). DfI will be consulted on any SID signs when they are proposed by the PCSP.”

Belfast Telegraph


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