White line fever over roads cuts

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DUP councillor Hilary McClintock says the health and safety of schoolchildren and old age pensioners in the Waterside are being jeopardised by the refusal of Transport NI to repaint road markings in Tullyally and Irish Street.

The Waterside councillor said she has been in contact with Transport NI regarding health and safety issues relating to road markings and has requested that white lines be marked on the Tullyally Road in front of Stevenson Park.

“This is a very busy stretch of road which also carries traffic into the Ashlea Primary School,” she said.

“There are no markings on this stretch of road and local people have asked that markings be put in place on this windy stretch of road.”

Councillor McClintock also referred to a similar issue at Harberton Park in the Irish Street area, which leads into the Somme Park Housing complex.

“The white lines are almost worn away and residents of the Somme Park have expressed concerns that traffic is not stopping at the junction.”

Councillor McClintock has said that she has been informed by Roads Service that no white lines are being replaced due to cut backs.

“Whilst we realise that their are restraints on funding, there are serious health and safety issues involved and it is not acceptable to say that these issues cannot be addressed.”

A spokesperson for Transport NI told the Sentinel it was aware of the requirement for road marking improvements at both locations, however, under current budget restraints it just doesn’t have the money to do the work now.

TransportNI spokesperson said: “The Department is facing very significant resource pressures going into 2015/16. This is the funding that is used to deliver day to day maintenance activities on the network.

“Previously, the vast majority of road marking work was carried out by external contractors.

“The funding position is such that we no longer have the resources to employ these contractors.

“The Department cannot order work that it would not be able to pay for. Consequently the renewal of road markings will be confined to urgent safety related work only.”

The spokesperson added: “We are aware of the need for road markings to be renewed at these locations (Tullyally Road at front of Stevenson Park and the replacement of white lines at Harberton Park in Irish Street).

“In comparison with other locations they do not meet the new criteria.”