Mum of road accident schoolgirl says safety plan is wrong way round

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A local mother whose daughter was hit by a car on a dangerous stretch of road in Greysteel believes Transport NI are planning safety measures for the wrong side of the road.

Roisin Conlon was left wheelchair bound after being hit by a car as she made her way home from school back in 2013.

Three years later, she no longer relies on a wheelchair but has still to recover fully from her injuries and is often in pain after being on her feet for a long time.

Her mother, Ann Marie, has been campaigning for safety improvements to the Killylane Road ever since and said she was glad to hear this week that plans are in place for a footpath.

However, she believes that Transport NI are planning to put the footpath on the wrong side of the road.

“Where they are planning to put the footpath, it wouldn’t do any good, in my opinion at least. They should put it on the same side as the Dungullion Road. People would still have to cross the road with poor visibility and the cars absolutely flying past as fast as 55 mph at times.

“There are about 20 houses on the Dungullion Road now and it is young families in most of them. We counted 25 children living up here and they can’t walk on the road without taking their lives into their hands.”

Anne Marie explained that the road safety problem on the Killylane Road comes from the speed of traffic and the poor visibility along many of the winding bends of the rural back road between Greysteel and Eglinton.

Apart from a small portion of road where speed is limited to 30 mph, traffic is allowed to travel at 60mph. Meanwhile, traffic along the wider, straighter main road, complete with a hard shoulder, between Londonderry and Limavady that runs almost parallel to the Killylane Road is limited to 40 mph along much of the same area.

At the 30mph portion of the Killylane Road, some 17 people were caught speeding in just 45 minutes back in 2013, shortly after the incident that seen Roisin badly hurt when she was hit by the car.

Ann Marie Conlon said: “It is now over three years since Roisin was knocked down crossing the Killylane Road near the junction of the Dungullion Road and limited progress has been made.

“Under the new proposals children living beyond the 30mph speed limit on the same side of the road as Sunvale park will need to cross the road twice to use a footpath walking to and from school. With the current provision children walk on the ditch in the mornings walking to the bus stop and in the evenings they cross the Killylane road twice walking home from the bus stop in Greysteel.

“I would ask that a risk assessment is carried before decisions are finalised.”