A 27 year old woman has died as a result of injuries sustained during a road traffic collision in the Cargan area on Friday 11 September. She passed away last night (Wednesday 17 September).
In the aftermath of the incident local Sinn Fein councillor Paul Maguire described the stretch of the Glenravel Road where the crash occured as a well known accident blackspot which he labelled “treacherous”.
Speaking to The Times today (Thursday), he said his thoughts and prayers were with the family and friends of the young woman who was from the Cushendall area.
Cr Maguire, who said he has been calling for safety measures to be introduced along the route for some time, said: “The road exiting Cargan village towards the Glens is treacherous and has a series of dangerous bends which many in the past have failed to negotiate and have consequently crashed through wire fencing and down a steep embankment, as has happened in this case.
“When I was first elected in 2011 I was approached by a local landowner who couldn’t keep up with repairing fencing and replacing fence posts as a result of collisions. Many of these accidents occur at night and the vehicles and any evidence as to their ownership are removed leaving the landowner to foot the bill for the damage caused. The vehicle owners have a duty in law to report these accidents, but don’t,” he stated.
The Councillor said he has submitted numerous written requests to Roads Service for a safety barrier since 201I and has also raised the matter at a number of meetings, the latest of which was last month’s at the Mid & East Antrim Borough Council Community Planning Committee meeting.
He said: “I asked Transport NI Divisional Manager Deirdre Mackle for an update on the provision of a safety barrier and advised that a week previous a car had gone off the road resulting in seven emergency services vehicles attending the scene.
“Her reply, as follows, was exactly the same as in 2011 - ‘The proposal met the criteria to progress to a more detailed assessment which includes a preliminary design and cost estimate. It may then be taken forward through our approvals process for potential prioritisation into a future works programme. Given the length of the scheme proposal and the potentially high costs involved it is likely that delivery would have to be taken forward in stages. In the current very difficult economic climate where funding for minor works improvement schemes of this nature is very limited I am not in a position to give an indication as to when a proposal might be included in a future year’s delivery programme’.”
Cllr. Maguire concluded: “In circumstances like this I would normally request an urgent meeting through Daithí McKay MLA with the Roads Minister, Danny Kennedy MLA, who has recently resigned.
“I call upon Mr Kennedy to stand up to his responsibility for road safety, return to work and deal with this situation without delay.”