Petition for lights after cyclist death

Mohamed Mahfouz Balid

Mohamed Mahfouz Balid

A petition to erect traffic lights at the Knockmore Road/Ballinderry Road junction after the death of a cyclist last week has already attracted more than 2000 signatures.

Paula Kydd set up the petition after Dr Mohamed Mahfouz Balid, a Syrian refugee, was killed when he collided with a lorry on the Knockmore Road while on his way to work.

It currently has 2,182 signatures while another petiton set up by Ciara Taggart for traffic lights or a roundabout has been signed by 304 people.

The death of Dr Balid is the second to occur on the Knockmore Road in under two years.

A man in his 20s died after he was involved in a collision close to the junction in November 2014.

Paula explained why she set the petition up.

“Following on from Wednesday’s tragic events of another innocent life lost on our roads I have set this petition up to try and get traffic lights put in place at the Knockmore/Ballinderry Road junction,” she said.

“This is a busy intersection with no safe way for anyone walking or on a bicycle to cross.”

Ciara echoed Paula’s reasons and urged the public to prevent more lives being lost.

“I use this road junction every single day and have been caught out myself, even as a very careful driver,” she said.

“As I arrived home last night and got out of my car, I was struck by the eerie silence as the police continued their investigation on the closed road; the realisation of what had happened hit me, and the fact that it could, and should have been prevented.

“For anyone who uses this road regularly, they will understand just how dangerous it is. We need to do all we can to prevent another innocent life being lost.”

Lisburn and Castelreagh City UUP Councillor Robbie Butler has also urged Stormont to ensure that there will be “sufficient funding to make sure there is a safe and effective roads network maintained and created throughout the constituency.”

He said: “Some existing roads are showing the physical strain of this increase in vehicles and there is an urgent need for some roads to be repaired while in other areas, new roads need to be built to cope with the added traffic.

“The Stormont Executive needs to ensure that sufficient funding is set aside to develop this roads expansion and maintenance in our Lagan Valley constituency, otherwise some areas could become accident blackspots if vehicles cannot safely travel through these localities.

“I call on TransportNI to provide a full survey of all roads throughout Lagan Valley so that a safe roads network can be created and implemented for the protection of drivers, passengers and pedestrians,”

Paula’s petition can signed at: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/648/810/423/traffic-lights-at-knockmore-junction/?taf_id=23401139&cid=fb_na.

Ciara’s petition can signed at: www.change.org by searching for ‘Ballinderry/Knockmore’.