Down Councilor Cadogan Enright slammed the Road Service for not restoring the one-way system to Edward Street over the summer.
Cllr Enright Said ”On Monday morning I witnessed a 40-vechile snarl-up outside Our Lady and Saint Patrick’s primary school that totally blocked the roads in every direction. It took a considerable time to resolve the situation with dozens of vehicles reversing backwards, repeating all the general chaos we saw before school closed for the summer. The Ardglass bus had to mount the pavement for 100 yards, and parents and children starting school on their first day had to flee for safety as more than 20 other vehicles of all shapes and sizes were forced to follow. An ambulance was trapped there for more than 15 minutes.”
“I have supplied Roads service with letters from the Ambulance service and from Translink seeking a one-way system, and have received correspondence from the Fire Brigade over the summer. The Roads Service is being obdurate in this matter, with all other government agencies recognizing the need for change” said Cllr Cadogan Enright.
In a letter of support to Councllor Enright, Gary Mawhinney, Ulsterbus Manager in Downpatrick and Newcastle District said “Ulsterbus operate school buses along this road for the primary school. We have encountered numerous issues on this street due to excessive traffic, inconsiderate parking and narrow road width. On average we are involved in two significant accidents in this vicinity each year and numerous ‘near-misses’. Our drivers encounter difficulties on a daily basis at school times but particularly each afternoon when traffic is at its peak”.
Cllr Cadogan Enright said “The ambulance service has written to me seeking a one-way system along Edward Street. Ambulance service employees have voiced their concerns to me about access to the Downe Hospital and ambulances being delayed by the ongoing regular chaos”.
Our Lady and Saint Patrick schools’ traffic crossing attendant Jim Sturgeoner said “A one way system is the only way to resolve the traffic chaos. The nightmare has restarted this Monday with traffic from both directions at one stage backed up out of sight for 20 minutes. This has to be resolved soon”.
“Having met with Roads Service to press the case for a resumption of the one way system, I have decided that the only way to resolve this is for the Council to insist on a meeting between the Roads Service, itself, the Ambulance Service, Translink, Police and the Fire Service to resolve this matter before someone is hurt”. Concluded Cllr Cadogan Enright