Calls for the main Portadown to Armagh road to be turned into a dual carriageway have been made following two serious crashes within 48 hours.
DUP MLA William Irwin described it as one of the busiest and most dangerous single carriageways in NI. “It urgently needs to be dualled for the safety of the thousands who use it each week,” he said.
A woman seriously injured in a crash last Friday morning remains in a ‘stable’ condition in Craigavon Hospital.
Another man who was cut from his vehicle 48 hours earlier after a collision with a slurry tank was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital. He has since been discharged.
Following both crashes, the Times Facebook page was inundated with concerned citizens demanding action and describing the road as ‘very dangerous’.
Mr Irwin said it was a seven mile road slicing through some of the busiest farmland in Co Armagh and has a unique mix of commuting and business traffic plus farm vehicles.
“The nature of this road means there’s a lot of overtaking and many people are taking risks,” said Mr Irwin, who urged Roads Service to create filtering lanes in the meantime until a dual carriageway can be built.
In both accidents the Fire Service were called upon to cut free the victims from their separate vehicles. Both accidents happened during morning rush hour as hundreds made their way to work.
Mr Irwin has called for a meeting with Roads Service to discuss this stretch of road following the accidents. “There is obviously an issue at this location and I want to discuss these concerns in the hope of addressing any safety points which could reduce collisions at this spot.”
On our Facebook page Hannah Rodgers said, “The entire road is a liability, I am surprised more people have not been killed. Especially cars waiting to turn right - other cars come racing up at 50/60+ mph and pull onto the hard shoulder at the last minute to undertake them. Every evening I sit waiting to turn right and the amount of near misses would scare you. That’s not even to mention the people who are on their phone who only have realised you are stopped at the last minute. Every right turn should have a filter lane allowing this to happen safely. People driving at 30/40mph are also to blame. It’s the only road I know that the speed is either 30 or 70. People tiddling along cause that much frustration that drivers are taking a risk to overtake them.”
Stuarty Heasty said, “Pulling out of the Derryhale junction is like playing with death. Especially in the mornings and evenings when it’s so busy.”