WARINGSTOWN residents got a ministerial hearing last week as they voiced their concerns over traffic issues in the village.
DRD Minister Danny Kennedy, in a meeting facilitated by local MLA Jo-Anne Dobson, heard calls for traffic calming and extended speed limits for the village.
Also at issue was the regular flooding at The Hollow - which was back again during last week’s heavy rain.
Mr Kennedy was accompanied by Divisional Roads Manager Kevin Monaghan as they toured some of the areas of concern to the residents.
Sandra Ledlie told the minister residents were concerned by traffic speeds along the Clare Road - particularly past the entrance to the cricket club.
She said: “The Clare Road is horrendous for speeding motorists. We want to see the 30mph limit extended.
“The cricket ground is very popular in the summer and you can have 80 to 100 youngsters around there. The cars are just flying down the Clare Road, it’s very dangerous.”
Speeding through the village, she said, was also a concern and residents had been asking for three years to have the police mobile speed unit deployed in the village.
Police, she added, had also been using speed checks in the village. Of the mobile unit, she said, one car had been clocked at 39mph coming into the village.
The other bone of contention was the regular flooding at The Hollow which, residents said, had been an ongoing issue for the past 10 or 12 years. They pointed to last week’s heavy rain which had brought the flooding back.
Ironically Northern Ireland Water was on site on Thursday but the work was not connected to the flooding - rather the laying a new watermain which has been ongoing in the village for some time now.
Mrs Ledlie reported that on Tuesday last water and raw sewage had been coming up from the manhole and materials in the water had included human waste. She also pointed out all this had come up at the entrance to a school.
Residents expressed the view no fresh planning applications for houses should be approved until the drainage in the village had been sorted out.
Mr Kennedy pointed out the Roads Service was only consulted on applications and planning issues were a matter for the Planning Service.
Mr Monaghan reported that Road Service staff had been on site on Tuesday and had cleared the flooding. He said their system was 100 per cent operational but there appeared to be a capacity or some other issue with the drainage going into the main sewerage infrastructure and they would be liaising with NI Water.
Mrs Dobson pointed out the flooding was happening year after year.
On the subject of a traffic calming scheme Mr Monaghan said: “The A26 main road between Lurgan and Banbridge is heavily trafficked and Waringstown suffers the problem of being located on the middle of that route.
“It we put road humps on this road it will cause through traffic problems and a lot of congestion.
“In a case like this we use other means, narrow the roadway with islands and hatching in the road.”
He said Waringstown already had these measures in place.
On the issue of speeding motorists, he said, that was a matter for the police.
He said he would get an update on a traffic survey for the village.