Red faces over Johnston Bridge gaffe

The pedestrian island on Johnston Bridge is to be repositioned    RMG32

The pedestrian island on Johnston Bridge is to be repositioned RMG32

TRANSPORT officials have been left red-faced following the recent repair works at Johnston Bridge after admitting that the wrong road markings have been painted at one of the entrances to the roundabout.
Enniskillen was set to see a return to normal traffic flow once the £300,000 strengthening works were completed ahead of schedule earlier this month. However motorists travelling from the Cornagrade Road direction into the town centre have been finding themselves in a bit of a tight squeeze.
The essential works saw resurfacing, waterproofing, kerbing, and reinforcing of concrete while the footpath was also widened to facilitate a cycle path. But it appears that the widening has left no room for cars travelling in each of the two carriageway lanes at the same time.
As the lines have not been spaced wide enough for two cars to approach the library roundabout at the end of Johnston’s Bridge, drivers are being forced into the middle of the road on approach.
For cars that do attempt to access each lane at once, those in the left hand lane heading for Queen Elizabeth Road are having to mount the new footpath while drivers on the right turning onto Queen Street are verging onto the traffic island. It is estimated that one lane is just over five feet wide and the other around six. In contrast traffic moving onto the Cornagrade Road from the libary has two lanes of around seven and a half feet each. Drivers have already taken to social media to express their frustration with many expressing concern over health and safety and others warning that the current situation is “an accident waiting to happen”.
Benny Cassidy is one of those expressing disbelief at the way the junction has been left and took this video to highlight the issue.




“How on earth do they expect two cars to sit side-by-side as normal on the roundabout in such a confined space. The doors of each car are almost touching each other so there is no option but for motorists to form a single line.”
Mr Cassidy told the Herald that even before this latest work was carried out, cars were already jockeying for space.
 “To have reduced the lanes now even further has left a very dangerous situation where drivers are challenging each other to get in between the lines. It just doesn’t make sense and appears to be a very short-sighted decision. Cars today are much wider so there is a very real risk of collision with another car or a pedestrian if they are forced onto the footpath. This is a very short-sighted decision and is just vying for something serious to happen especially once the traffic increases next week when the schools re-open.”    
 A Department for Infrastructure spokesman told the Herald: “When undertaking the recent major bridge repairs to Johnston Bridges, the opportunity was also taken to widen the existing footway to create a shared footway/cycle track.
“The road markings put in place following the completion of the resurfacing works at the site are incorrect. They have been reviewed and will shortly be replaced to create two carriageway lanes only where the road width is appropriate.”

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The Fermanagh Herald is published by North West of Ireland Printing & Publishing Company Limited, trading as North-West News Group.
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