The long-standing issue of traffic congestion and resulting road safety hazards outside Carniny Primary School were top of the agenda at a crucial meeting this week.
Various parties met at the popular school to focus on the problem which has plagued the area for many years.
One of the outstanding issues addressed at the meeting was the refusal by the North Eastern Education and LIbrary Board to provide a school crossing patrol at the site.
DUP assemblyman Paul Frew said the ongoing problem required a satisfactory solution.
He said: “I met with the principal and governors of Carniny Primary School to discuss with Transport NI and NEELB the potential ways to resolve the traffic congestion at the school and the very real threat to children’s safety when crossing the road and getting out of cars to attend and leave school at 9am, 2pm & 3pm.
“This has been a major issue for many years and affects not only the school family but the residents who live in the neighbouring development many of whom have contacted me.
“I have been writing to the various bodies on this very issue since 2011.”
Mr Frew conceded that the problem would be difficult to solve given the restrictions on land and funding and the fact that options are limited on the actual road.
But he contended that other measures might be taken swiftly to alleviate the situation - such as the provision of a corssing patrol.
He said: “I believe that it is vitally important that NEELB reverse their decision to refuse the entitlement to a school crossing patrol.
“A person on site to assist children across the road and control traffic would greatly enhance pedestrian safety.
“I would ask that this once again be considered.”
He revealed that NEELB have designed a road scheme whereby part of the school grounds at the sign adjacent to the ‘hard’ playground be turned into a layby, allowing cars to park in a ‘herring bone style’ thus taking the parked cars off the main road.
Mr. Frew continued: “They are now awaiting allocation of funding. I have asked them to consider further measures by designing a car park at the front of the school to allow parents to drive in and park away from the roadside altogether thus allowing their children to exit the vehicle in safety.”
He said he would follow up the meeting by writing to all involved to ensure that these requests are followed up and addressed.
Mr. Frew concluded: “There is no doubt that this is a major issue in many of our schools who will all have various issues regarding parking.
“I am certainly assisting many schools in this regard. I believe that more resources need to be applied in this area of concern before someone gets seriously hurt or killed.”