Five cars crash in space of week at bridge
THERE have been calls for action on a section of the Mullahead Road after reports of at least five accidents there in the space of a week.
Speed, inadequate road markings and a slippery surface near Knock Bridge are all being cited as contributory factors to the high accident toll.
There have also been warnings from a local councillor and concerned motorists that someone is going to be killed or seriously injured unless something is done.
Alderman Woolsey Smith, who lives nearby, said he was aware of four accidents - on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday of last week - all of which took place in daylight.
In one of them, a car finished up on top of a wall, and in another two vans collided.
However, a local man, who walks his dog almost every day along the neighbouring towpath, said he had witnessed the aftermath of a second accident on Sunday morning, bringing the total accident toll to five.
Alderman Smith, who raised the issue at Monday’s night meeting of Craigavon Borough Council, said the accidents had happened within 20 metres of each other, close to the towpath. He said, “Part of the wall was demolished in one accident and in another one, the driver hit a tree. The cars were badly damaged but no-one was seriously injured.
“Someone is going to get killed there. The towpath is a tourist attraction and a lot of people park their cars and walk up the main road to get onto it. There is no speed limit that I know of and there is one sign as you approach from Drumlin Hill but that is not enough.”
A local man, who did not wish to be named, said he felt compelled to raise the issue. “I really feel someone is going to be killed,” he said.
“I am there nearly every day to walk the dog along the towpath. On Sunday I was there at 7am and the first car had already crashed. I was there four hours later and there was another car sitting off the road with damage to the front and back. I imagine it must have hit the wall.
“I saw another car on Wednesday, although that accident took place on Tuesday, and there were two vans in another smash. In all, I know of five, and that’s not to mention the ones I don’t know about.”
He added, “I park my car in the layby and walk up. I think there needs to a footbridge built on the other side of the wall so people don’t have to walk along the road. The cars come round the corner at such a speed that if one veered off the road you wouldn’t have a chance.”
However, the man said the road also appeared to be “very greasy”. “I noticed it on Sunday morning when I made a point of walking onto the road to test it. I don’t know what causes it but it’s very dangerous,” he said.
One of the contributors to the debate on the Portadown Times Facebook page, Lisa Hamilton, said, “My husband crashed there on Saturday on his way to work at 6am doing no more than 30mph. He touched the brake and the car left him so speed is not always the case... We were told eight accidents in one week.”
Also on Facebook, David Morrow said, “The issue at the moment is the build-up of grease on road surfaces in general - dry weather and regular gritting seem to make traction difficult. Those who travel this road regularly will know that that corner is particularly prone to becoming slippery; sap and leaves from the surrounding trees may also be a factor.
“Because of the hill down to the corner people generally leave breaking too late and are therefore relying on braking around the corner when there is simply not enough traction to do so. Perhaps a warning just before the corner with a ‘rumble strip’ would help reduce accidents.”
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Weather for Portadown
Tuesday 21 May 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 15 C
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Temperature: 5 C to 13 C
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