The four-year-old daughter of a family who campaigned hard – and failed – to have speed bumps included in the recent resurfacing of Oakleigh Park came within six inches of being knocked down by a car at the weekend.
The car, driven carefully by a woman driver, screeched to a halt after Catherine Fogarty ran out onto the road, which has become the alternative route between Brownstown Road and Armagh Road since the “cumbersome and slow in changing” traffic lights were erected at the Shamrock Park junction.
Catherine’s dad Andrew Fogarty said, “We are not blaming the driver in any shape or form. She was keeping well within they speed limit and reacted brilliantly when Catherine raced onto the road. But the bottom line is that she would probably not have taken the Oakleigh Park route had the traffic lights been more effective, and she would have been going much slower, had the speed bumps been in place when we asked for them as part of the resurfacing.
“We applaud the woman, but many motorists fly up and down Oakleigh at speed of 40mph-plus, and it is inevitable that a child will be injured or worse.
“My wife Rebecca and Rebecca’s granny Betty saw what happened and everyone was traumatised. This road had become particularly dangerous. We have contacted local councillors and David Simpson MP to try and reverse the bumps decision.”
The Portadown Times took up the issue when the road was being resurfaced a couple of months ago, but the DRD replied that Oakleigh did not meet the criteria as a busy route, and this was their claim when Mr Fogarty took up the issue again. “It becomes a death trap during the various rush hours when traffic builds up at the lights – drivers simply turn down via the Park.”
Mr Simpson’s office is asking for a reassessment, although the DRD has intimated that they have a restricted budget and that other routes score higher than Oakleigh in the queue for road bumps.