Primary school principal fears ‘near miss’ for pupils on road

Upper Ballyboley Primary School. INLT-08-710-con
Upper Ballyboley Primary School. INLT-08-710-con

A primary school principal says it’s only a matter of time before a pupil has a ‘near miss’ with traffic due to a lack of calming measures.

Head of Upper Ballyboley Primary School Mr Smith is calling for the Department for Infrastructure to implement measures to control traffic on the Braepark Road.

“Our school is on a 60mph stretch of road, therefore, the traffic doesn’t slow down, even in bad weather,” he explained.

“This is a serious concern for our parents both when dropping their children off at school and collecting them.

“Children have to get out or into the cars on a 60mph stretch of road and four-year-olds children can’t do it that quickly.

“I have been informed that the flashing road warning signs outside of our school haven’t been working for some time so drivers don’t know about the school until they are nearly outside it.

“Although there haven’t been any near misses, it’s just a matter of time.”

UUP Councillor Andy P Wilson said he had asked Transport NI to repair the warning lights and to consider other traffic calming measures such as rumble strips.

“I am urging Transport NI to give this a high priority,” he stated.

“Heavy goods vehicles such as lorries from local quarries plus milk tankers frequently use this country road, and it is important that the needs of rural dwellers and the safety of schoolchildren are taken seriously.”

A spokeswoman for Transport NI stated: “TransportNI is aware of the issues associated with the Flashing Amber Signs at Upper Ballyboley Primary School and have programmed repairs following a recent site inspection by the contractor.

“It is hoped these signs will be operational in the near future.

“The proposed rumble strips will be installed at the school warning signs.

“These are raised strips of thermoplastic designed to give an audible signal to drivers as they approach the school.

“The school already benefits from a range of traffic management measures such as flashing amber signs, hazard warning lines, ‘SLOW SCHOOL AHEAD’ markings and SCHOOL KEEP CLEAR markings at the school entrance.”