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Locals hit out at failure to address 'death trap' junction

Thursday, 20th April, 2017 5:24pm

Locals hit out at failure to address 'death trap' junction

"More serious accidents" are just waiting to happen say local resident about a road outside Belturbet.

Seamus Enright

"It's an absolute death trap. It's not an accident black spot at the minute, but it's not far from it. Thankfully nobody has been killed, but a more serious accident is just waiting to happen," riled a local resident over a road outside Belturbet.

The TII (formerly NRA) plan to carry out surface works rather than realign the contentious section of the N87. Providing an overlay on the corner near the cross-junction at Killynaher Church, residents say, will further add to existing poor visibility. The work is set to go ahead despite the local authority previously identifying the concern some years back. With three serious accidents at the section in almost as many months, including a truck carrying bricks spilling its load, local resident Clive Magee says: "They were to realign the road and maybe lower it, but that never happened. If an overlay comes now it'll be a disaster, it'll make an already bad blind bend into an even worse one."
While funding for remedial work is welcome, Mr Magee insists the turn must be first realigned. He says there is major concern among locals, particularly for those emerging from the Killynaher Church junction, or the adjacent laneway on which a large number of families live.
School buses also park at the junction to pick-up and drop-off children, and while the intention is to reduce the current speed limit between Belturbet to Ballyconnell from 100kmph to 80kmph, the fear remains that a more serious accident could occur.
"Nobody wants a death there, but it's what will make these people pay attention to the problem," he adds.
His anxiety is shared by lorry driver and fellow Killynaher resident Austin McGurren who says the section of road is a "total danger".
"That yoke is 70 foot long," says Mr McGurren of his five axle truck and trailer. He explains the difficulties he faces when leaving from Killynaher Church: "When I turn out on to the road I close it off for about 12 seconds; that's quite a long time. I have to turn out wide, and the cars and motorbikes coming around that corner right now don't often see me until they're four or five seconds away. If they're not paying attention they'll run in under my trailer. It's shocking. They haven't a hope."
Their plight was raised at the recent meeting of the country's Joint Policing Committee by Cllr Damien Brady.
Find out more in this week's Anglo Celt

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