Car body repair man John Leckey has warned that the “danger junction” near his business at Whiteside’s Hill, between Portadown and Tandragee, is a fatal crash waiting to happen.
Several serious collisions, he said, have occurred where the Markethill Road merges onto the Tandragee Road, with drivers coming from the Markethill direction over-shooting the junction, often ending up in the field at the other side of the Tandragee Road, 10 feet down a bank.
“Luckily, so far, there have been no vehicles on the main road when this has happened,” he said. “Drivers over-shoot the junction regularly, and the most recent was last weekend. It was thought to have been a stolen car and my son was on the scene soon afterwards. The car was pretty badly damaged and was taken away on the back of a breakdown van.
“The car obviously shot across the road and ended up in the field, damaging the road sign. There was blood in the car, which the police later towed away, and the occupants had absconded. The road sign was damaged at the far side of the road, and was quickly repaired by the DRD. But it was a close call, and nobody knows how badly the occupants were hurt. The sign was uprooted from its concrete base and the DRD carried out a temporary repair to reinstate it.
“Cars often end up through the fence and into the field 10 feet below road level, and it’s only by the grace of God that nobody has been killed. It urgently needs somehting done about it.””
He added there were two problems – firstly, the Tandragee Road is several feet above the Markethill approach and can’t be seen by drivers until they’re almost on it.
“Fair enough, there’s a large ‘Give Way’ sign, but it’s right at the junction, and drivers’ views are hampered by a hedge as they approach. The police said that another warning ‘Give Way Ahead’ sign should be constructed at least 100 yards on the Markethill Road approach, and that would be a big help. The directional signs, which are at the far side of the Tandragee Road, appear over the horizon as driver get dangerously close.
“Hopefully, the DRD won’t wait until someone is killed before they take action. Many cars have been damaged, and frankly that’s not the sort of business I want in my repair shop – much less, if someone is badly injured, or worse.”
The DRD Roads Service were asked for a response, but none had been received by the time of publication.
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