Friday 23 February 2018 12:56:36 AM

Lower Stream Street Residents Call For Road Improvements
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RESIDENTS of Racecourse Hill, Ardpatrick Avenue and Vianstown Park in Downpatrick  have formed a petition calling for traffic calming measures to be included to a proposed one-way system for Racecourse Hill.

The DOE Road Service is currently consulting on a proposal to install a one-way traffic systen on Racecourse Hill (lower section). The proposal is for traffic to enter Racecourse Road at the Killough Road end and a ‘No Entry’ sign to be put up at the bottom of Racecourse Hill at the Stream Street mini-roundabout end.

They want efforts to slow down traffic on this section of the road and have deep concerns about speeding traffic once the one-way system is introduced. The residents would like to see traffic calming at the entrance and exit on the hill in the interests of safety.

Also, they see a footpath as another essential for safety running the full length of the short road. In their petition, the residents explained that traffic calming at the exit of Racecourse Hill is particularly important as crossing the roundabout  is extremely hazardous with traffic coming from three directions.

Traffic crossing the roundabout at the present moment is giving the residents a cause to fear that an accident may occur given the complex area of the road.

On the Racecourse Road looking over the traffic issues were Sinn Féin Cllr Liam Johnston with Steam Street Residents' Association chairman Peter Smyth, SF worker John Gordon, Cllr Eamonn Mac Con Midhe, and Michael McKinney, Residents' Association.

Peter Smyth, Chairman of the Stream Street Residents Association, added, “It is especially important for the residents that  dropped kerbs are reinstated to all the road crossing areas. They were there before but with road changes when the cinema was build this was not done on the completion of the roadworks. Also, the residents of Ardpatrick Avenue would like improved sight lines for exiting the estate as the current arrangement is dangerous and unacceptable.”

Down Council Sinn Féin Councillor Eamonn Mac Con Midhe said, “We need to make these pathways safe and accessible for prams as well as wheelchairs. At the moment it is very difficult for mothers trying to get to school in the morning who are pushing prams. But the new road system at Stream Street past the new cinema has been a major improvement to Downpatrick diverting traffic away from a congested junction at Collin’s Corner. The issues on this part of Downpatrick’s road system are important for the safety of local residents.

“We will be having an ongoing meeting with residents over traffic issues and will be going door-to-door to make sure that people’s views are properly heard. The difficult traffic situation in Edward Street will be helped with it going one-way and St Dillon’s Avenue changing the direction of its one-way system. It is still early days and much work needs to be done with Roads Service to get our road system working more effectively.

“But the situation at the roundabout in lower Stream Street is simple. Traffic needs to be entering it at an appropriate speed, pedestrians need to be safe, and the police need to be proactive in identifying anyone who flouts these new traffic measures before a serious accident happens,” added Cllr Mac Con Midhe. “Discussions with Roads Service will continue.”

Steam Street Residents Association members Michael McKinney and Peter Smyth, chairman, with Cllr Liam Johnston look over the issue of the drop kerbs at the Racecourse Road traffic area.

Edward Street Resurfacing

Roads Service has written to residents in Edward Street indicating that it is their intention to carry out resurfacing work on the street from the Ardglass Road junction to the junction with Fountain Street. The work is expected to start on Monday 3rd October with the contractor upgrading the drainage and refurbishing kerbing and footways followed by the carriageway resurfacing by the end of October.

A temporary one way system will operate from Monday 10th October until Saturday 12th November from John Street junction to St Dillon’s Avenue. The St Dillon’s Avenue one -way current traffic flow will be reversed. Efforts will be made for residents to gain access to their properties.