Residents call for action on blind bend

William Irwin MLA at the bend on the Laurelvale Road. INPT23-021
William Irwin MLA at the bend on the Laurelvale Road. INPT23-021

Residents on the Laurelvale Road are calling for action on a blind bend which has been the scene of a number of accidents.

One man, who does not wish to be named but was speaking on behalf of his neighbours, said the situation had been going on for 17 years “at least”.

His car was written off a couple of years ago as he attempted to pull out of his driveway onto the main road. And in another incident, a minister visiting a neighbouring house also had her car wrecked when she attempted to do the same.

Another resident had to have the gable wall of his house rebuilt after it was hit by a lorry.

The man said, “I am worried because I have grandchildren here, and there are also young children living in the house opposite.

“We were told years ago by an engineer who called out that it would be a fairly small job to remove the hedge and put up a fence. All that was needed was the permission of the landowner.”

MLA William Irwin said he had received many calls on the issue and had met with Roads Service on a number of occasions, but had been informed recently that it “was not a priority”.

He added, “I do feel that the concerns of the residents should be taken on board. The only solution to the problem is the removal of the short stretch of hedgerow, which would vastly improve visibility and allow drivers to see clearly around the bend from either direction.”

A spokesperson for Transport NI said the improvement of the sightline would require vesting of the land.

He added, “Currently it is not policy to purchase lands until the necessary funding is in place to carry out the works. Funding is not available at present.”