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Monday, 15 February 2021

Alliance urge Infrastructure Minister to act over Ballysallagh Bridge Road Strikes


Local Alliance representatives have called for definitive action from the Infrastructure Minister to do more to prevent further bridge collisions on the Ballysallagh Road, Craigantlet, following several incidents in recent years. 

Commenting on the issue North Down Andrew Muir MLA stated, “This bridge in particular has seen many strikes over the years and being on a busy commuter route each time this occurs it causes severe disruption to the road network. I asked The Minister a formal Written Assembly Question around why her Department was unwilling to do more to prevent further incidents and was informed that they consider current signage and markings to be sufficient.” 

“The Road was closed for several weeks following one particular strike by a heavy goods vehicle in late 2019 causing traffic chaos in the area and misery for local residents. It’s clear additional signage alone isn’t enough to stop this happening again.” 

Alliance Councillor Gillian Greer stated, “It is glaringly obvious that unless further measures are put in place this will just keep happening time and time again. Luckily most incidents have only caused superficial damage but the risk of a serious road traffic collision is very real and the Department needs to step up before this is allowed to happen.”

QUESTION

Andrew Muir MLA (North Down)

To ask the Minister for Infrastructure why her Department is unwilling to consider further measures to reduce and inhibit bridge collisions on Ballysallagh Road, Craigantlet, following collisions in recent times.

ANSWER

NICHOLA MALLON MLA (Minister for Infrastructure)

Following a bridge strike in early 2018 my officials carried out a review which resulted in a series of additional signs being erected. This brings the total number of signs on the bridge and the approach roads to fifteen.

Officials have installed significant signage and markings on the approaches and on the bridge to alert drivers to its presence. I am advised this is sufficient and as such there are no plans for further measures at this time. There are limitations to what my Department can do and there is a responsibility on drivers of high vehicles who are expected to know their vehicle size and to plan their routes to avoid hazards such as low bridges.