School traffic concerns prompt new warning sign


Plans are underway to erect an extra flashing warning sign at St Aloysius Primary School by the end of May, following concerns over traffic and parking issues.

The decision was made following a meeting with representatives of the school, the PSNI and the Education Authority.

Councillor Pat Catney said he had been approached by a number of parents from both St Aloysius and St Patrick’s College over traffic issues.

Mr Catney appealed to motorists who pick up or drop off their children from the schools on the Ballinderry Road to exercise common sense and caution.

He claimed cars were parking illegally at the zig zag are outside both schools, blocking the clear line of vision for both children and motorists.

“A concerned parent approached me after he saw two near miss incidents since Christmas,” he said. “The children have been taught to cross safely at this spot since primary school and it needs to be kept clear.

“Too many children have died on our roads this year and thousands are injured yearly in the UK. Both schools have tried to alleviate the situation and DRD, the police and education authorities have been contacted to look into the problem.

“The good news last week was that St Patrick’s received £3.7m investment to enhance school buildings which gives an opportunity to solve the dangerous situation but in the meantime this is a parent problem, schools are not to blame.”

A spokesperson for the DRD confirmed that a meeting had been held recently regarding the issue.

“The Department, together with representatives from St Aloysius Primary School, the Education Authority and the PSNI attended a meeting recently (end of January) at the school to discuss general issues with parking and traffic,” she said.

“As a result of that meeting, DRD will be extending the times at which the flashing school signs operate. (These were previously provided under the Safer Routes to School initiative.) In addition, we also have ordered an additional flashing school sign which we would hope to have erected by the end of May.

“We are currently considering any further measures that could be taken to help address these issues.”

A spokesperson for the police said, “Local officers work continually with schools in the local area to promote safe parking and road safety around school buildings.

“Police would ask all parents dropping off or collecting their children from school to be mindful of their safety and abide by the road traffic laws. Remember ‘just this once’ or ‘We’re running late today’ are not valid excuses.”