Pupils lives at risk on ‘dangerous’ footpath

A footpath close to a Lurgan primary school is putting the lives of children and parents at risk, the principal has warned.

Mr Anthony McMorrow, principal of St Francis Primary School said pupils and guardians walking along the narrow path are in ‘grave danger’.

Pupils of St Francis Primary School in Lurgan with teachers Miss Rice and Mrs McGrann

Pupils of St Francis Primary School in Lurgan with teachers Miss Rice and Mrs McGrann

The school, the fifth largest primary school in Northern Ireland with 821 pupils, sits on the busy Francis Street road leading to the Silverwood Road.

Mr McMorrow said: “A stretch of footpath, approx. 100 metres in length, just outside our school currently presents a grave danger to children and parents.”

He said it was ‘too narrow for purpose’ adding that the mix of concrete and tarmacadam ‘is dangerously uneven and in most parts sloping towards the road’.

Mr McMorrow added: “Children and mothers with prams use it daily and the narrow, uneven surface make their passage precarious.

“Heavy traffic, at speed (50mph zone), flies within inches of the children and mothers,” said the school principal.

“The hedging pushes pedestrians onto the road,” he said. This is a major accident in waiting.

“The bad bend, the speedy traffic, the narrow passage, the rough surface, the hedging and the use by very young children render this an area that needs immediate attention.

“I urge you in the strongest possible terms to cast aside budget restraints, lists of work ahead, lack of manpower, the absence of government and any other possible reasons for procrastination.

“Children’s lives are at risk here every day and surely that comes before any other from of works elsewhere in Lurgan and beyond,” said Mr McMorrow.

The road is also used by young people using Clan naGael GAA Club.

A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said: “The Department can confirm that correspondence has been received by Mr McMorrow and will be responding to him on the matters raised.”