A26 safety review: concerns over fatalities and measures planned

The Woodgreen Junction on the Lisnevenagh Road which has been the scene of numerous traffic collisions over the years. Pic Pacemaker
The Woodgreen Junction on the Lisnevenagh Road which has been the scene of numerous traffic collisions over the years. Pic Pacemaker

A safety review of a notoriously dangerous section of the A26 has concluded that “the amount of fatal collisions is a cause for concern.”

The review was carried out on the road following a number of collisions on the notorious road, including the tragic death of a 25-year-old local woman on the Lisnevenagh Road close to the junction with Woodgreen.

Fresh from her visit to that junction earlier this month, Roads Minister Michelle McIlveen revealed that three sections of the road have been singled out for further investigation.

During Assembly Question Time Ms McIlveen said: “I can report that the safety review of the A26 Lisnevenagh Road is now complete. It concludes that whilst there is not an unusually high incidence of collisions along that route, given the volume of traffic using the road, the number of fatal collisions is a cause for concern.

“As such, Transport NI has identified three sites that warrant further investigation and where collision remedial measures can be introduced to influence driver behaviour and reduce the risk of collisions.

“The sites that have been singled out for further investigation are the Barnish Road/Creevery Road junction; Woodgreen Road and Maine Road junction; and Cromkill Road junction.”

She added that police investigations are ongoing and further discussions are to take place and that Transport NI officials intend to make a joint presentation with the PSNI to Mid and East Antrim Borough Council.

They will aim to inform members of the findings of the report and seek their support for proposed collision remedial actions.

Speaking at the question and answer session, local MLA Jim Allister asked for further clarification on what these measures entail, he said: “The Minister speaks about collision remedial measures, which sounds very good, but the only thing that she then spoke about was extra street lighting, extra road markings and a ban on right turns at a couple of junctions.

“Surely, Minister, it will take much more structural change than that to bring safety to those deathtrap junctions, particularly at Woodgreen. I trust that the Minister is prepared to do more than what has been suggested.”

Ms McIlveen advised that she will meet Mr Allister at the junction and suggested meeting engineers to talk about “the available options for each junction.”

She added: “As I said, each junction is different and very much site-specific, and there will be recommendations for each of them. I think that the opportunity to have those conversations will be on Monday. Out of that, we can pursue any further suggestions or changes which others may feel are appropriate.”