School students crossing the road at the busy Cherrymount Roundabout, Enniskillen    RMG98

School students crossing the road at the busy Cherrymount Roundabout, Enniskillen RMG98

EDUCATION officials are being urged to put student safety first after two teenagers had a lucky escape in a road traffic accident at a notorious junction in Enniskillen. 
The 14-year-old students were injured on their way to school when the accident occurred at the Cherrymount roundabout on the A32 Irvinestown Road at around 9.05am last Thursday morning.
One girl sustained minor injuries after being hit by a car and spent a number of days being monitored at the South West Acute Hospital. A 14-year-old boy was also treated for minor injuries following the incident.
The two students are pupils of Erne Integrated College and school principal Jimmy Jackson-Ware says the accident location has been a cause for concern for some time. 
“We have had concerns about students having to cross this road. Myself and members of the Parent’s Council met with Roads Service last May to observe the level of traffic in the early morning and the issues that this area raises in terms of safety. We have been saying that we feel something needs to be done to address this and we want something to happen,” said principal Jimmy Jackson Ware.
Ironically, officials from the Education Authority witnessed the accident at first hand as they were carrying out a survey in the area at the time to examine what safety provisions could be put in place.
DUP Cllr Keith Elliott told the Herald that there could have been a very different outcome. 
“This is a very busy area particularly around school times and it is obviously regrettable that two teenagers were involved in a road traffic accident. Indeed the situation could have been a lot different and today we could have been mourning their loss. 
“Children and young people should not be put into any danger when they are walking to school and it is important that we use every measure possible to ensure their safety.” 
Cllr Elliott says he has been working hard with the Department of Infrastructure and the Education Authority for the implementation of road traffic and safety measures. 
“I have asked for the instatement of a lollipop person and a crossing. I have been in contact with the Education Minister in particular to let him know about this development. Obviously there are processes which must take place, however an assessment was carried out last week and with this news, it should be a clear example of why we need safety measures implemented and as quickly as possible,” he added. 
“I am confident that the relevant departments will be looking into this to find a suitable measure to ensure incidents like this do not happen again and more importantly that no life is lost on our roads.” 
A spokesman for the Education Authority, said: “The safety and wellbeing of pupils is the highest priority for the Education Authority. 
The EA can confirm that a survey was conducted on the pedestrian and traffic flow at the Cherrymount Roundabout, Irvinestown Road on Thursday, 29 September 2016 to determine if the criteria for the establishment of a school crossing patrol site have been satisfied.” 

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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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