A ROAD CRASH involving two lorries on a rural road in Arney which was being used by traffic diverted from the main Dublin road was ‘no coincidence’, according to one local councillor.
Cllr Barry Doherty believes the problem of increased traffic on a small country road was compounded by a lack of gritting, although Transport NI say they do not think road conditions were a factor in the accident.
Road traffic on the main Enniskillen to Cavan and Dublin Road has been diverted over a six day period with vehicles diverted from Enniskillen via A32 Swanlinbar Road and B108 Moher Road to Derrylin and from Belnaleck via the C438 Arney Road and A32 Swanlinbar Road to Enniskillen, with concerns raised that the road was not suitable for such high volumes of traffic and the proper gritting provisions were not taken.
Just after 12.05pm on Wednesday 28 January, police received a report of a two vehicle road traffic collision on the Arney Road, Belnaleck.
The two vehicles involved were Heavy Goods Vehicles and one of them ended up on its side. No one was injured in the incident, DOE were informed and dealt with road diversions while one of the lorries was recovered.
Local Sinn Fein councillor Barry Doherty, who lives just off the Enniskillen to Derrylin Road explained that a number of people had raised their concerns with him regarding the road conditions.
“It’s no coincidence this crash took place, roads weren’t being gritted properly. The principal of Mullymesker was having to beg to have the road gritted.
“One of the reasons in the past they were told it wasn’t being gritted was because there wasn’t a significant volume of traffic, but here you had high volumes of traffic diverted. I only found out recently that people down there are always looking for that road to be gritted. Every time they’re having to beg.
“There are three primary schools in that area; Kinawley, Mullymesker and Belnaleck and I don’t care what excuse they use, gritting outside primary schools has to be done.
“There was extra traffic on that road and the road and weather conditions weren’t great, it is not good enough. They just say though ‘it is not a priority’.”
Mr Doherty has called on Transport NI ( formerly Roads Service) to ensure the areas around all primary schools in the county are gritted.
“It’s scandalous. I don’t accept any excuses. Primary schools in the county must be gritted outside. It is clearly not good enough. How much does it cost to take a lorry out of Enniskillen to Derrylin and grit a few roads? For them to say they don’t have enough money is just ridiculous.”
The treasurer of the Cleenish Community Association Caroline Meehan explained that on the morning of the crash the roads were not gritted and the conditions were as bad as she had ever seen
“It was unbelievable I have never seen anything like that,” she remarked. Caroline had been dropping a child at St Mary’s Mullymesker and as she came out heard a child screaming on the road and knew something was up.
“Walking on the road it was like a skating rink. Cars trying to get into the school slid straight past the entrance.”
A Department for Regional Development spokesman has maintained the road in question was gritted, but does not state what time or how often. “Arney Road was gritted on Wednesday 28 January.” In regards to the background of the accident it is their understanding the collision was unrelated to the weather/road conditions.
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