Safety measure could cost £800k

Emma Hassard, who started the petition, with Councillor Margaret Tolerton at the junction of McKinstry Road and The Cutts
Emma Hassard, who started the petition, with Councillor Margaret Tolerton at the junction of McKinstry Road and The Cutts

TransportNI has said that work to provide a filter light at the junction of McKinstry Road and The Cutts would cost around £800,000.

A spokesperson for the TransportNI was responding to a petition that has been launched to improve safety at the busy junction close to Oakwood Integrated Primary School.

“The Department is aware of public concern regarding right turn facilities at this junction,” said the spokesperson.

“TransportNI has identified a potential solution which would fully control the right turn traffic movements on both McKinistry Road and Derriaghy Road/The Cutts.

“To do this to current design standards would require extensive carriageway widening and realignment to provide the traffic islands necessary to house the additional traffic signal poles needed.

“This is a relatively expensive scheme with projected costs in the order of £750,000-800,000. The Department shall keep the situation under ‎review.”

The Department of Infrastructure, which manages Transport NI, also said they were unaware of the petition, which has received hundreds of signatures since it was launched by local mum Emma Hassard, but that they would “fully consider its content when it is received.”

The spokesperson continued: “The safety of children on their journey to and from school is of the highest priority to Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard; a matter that he is prioritising. Significant investment has been made over the years in and around schools to encourage cycling and walking to school and many primary schools are located in residential areas that have had traffic calming engineering measures installed to effectively reduce vehicle speeds to below 20 mph.

“TransportNI has worked closely with Oakwood Integrated Primary School as part of the ‘Safer Routes to School Initiative’ and has provided School flashing signs in both directions, enhanced road markings in the form of coloured surfacing and School road markings on the approach roads to the school.

“The flashing signs operate at school opening and closing times and further highlight to drivers the need to take additional care. The measures have been provided to enhance the safety of everyone going to and from the school.”