News

Congestion solution reaches fork in road

Wednesday, 26 July 2017

THERE are no currently no plans to install traffic lights at one of the main congestion spots in Kilkeel town centre.
However the area will be looked at and an assessment will be carried out to see if the roundabout at the top of Knockchree Avenue should give way to traffic lights.
It comes as SDLP Councillor Brian Quinn raised concerns with Transport NI regarding the traffic congestion surrounding the roundabout at The Kilmorey Arms. He said that due to an increase in the number of people using that part of the town, that traffic lights should be considered at that point.
He said that there are three exits to the roundabout and each one serves a great traffic flow.
“One of the exits of the roundabout is where the emergency services are based, both the ambulance service and the fire service.
“Also up there is the new Spar shop which has a number of new customers using it as it now holds the Post Office. That has increased the number of cars using that part of the town.
“Another exit is down through the town centre while another is towards Kilkeel Primary and the secondary school.
“At school and tea times the traffic congestion is unbelievable. Each of the roads leading to the roundabout are backlogged.
“Even if traffic lights are not a possibility they need to look at some form of traffic management. In fact the whole of Kilkeel town needs some form of traffic management."
He said towards to the Newcastle side of the town is also very busy with traffic with long tailbacks in the evenings and mornings.
“They are queued from Asda out to the Moor Road," he said.
Councillor Quinn added that if there were "alternative routes around the town, then those not needing to go through the town could use them".
“If they don't want to upgrade the town centre traffic management then they need to look further out.
“I know people who use the Drumcro Road rather than going through the town and if it was upgraded then it could be used as a bypass for many, thus reducing the amount of traffic through the town.
“However, it could not be used at the moment as it could not hold all the traffic."
A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson confirmed they will see if there is any merit in the traffic light idea.
“Engineering staff are working through the large number of queries raised by councillors at the meetings held on 22 May 2017 in Newry and Downpatrick," said a spokesperson.
“Staff will provide substantive responses to councillors to all of the matters raised at the meeting.
“A request was made that the Department consider removal of the roundabout at Kilmorey Arms at Knockchree Avenue and replace the roundabout with a set of traffic lights.
“The Department has no plans in this regard, although the location will be assessed to consider if there is any merit in the proposal," said a Department spokesperson.

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