Seven crashes in three months on Cranny Rd leads to calls for action

Cranny Road, Bleary
Cranny Road, Bleary

Lack of road gritting has been blamed for a crash on Bleary’s Cranny Road last week - the seventh in the past three months at almost the same spot.

And one local farmer is angry at the lack of action by Roads Service and Upper Bann MLAs for doing nothing to sort the problem out.

Mr William Johnston said vehicles have crashed into his hedgerows along the Cranny Road regularly in winter but specially ever since the cold snap in November.

“I have contacted DUP MLA Carla Lockhart and UUP Doug Beattie but nothing has been done,” said Mr Johnston who fears someone could get killed.

Mr Johnston said over the years considerable damage has been caused to hedges on his land bordering the Cranny Road, much of which he has had to repair. He said hedges which are damaged by these cars are almost irreparable.

One car crashed through a hedge landing into one of his fields on Friday morning.

“This is the seventh in the last few months,” said Mr Johnston.

Mrs Lockhart said: “I called with Mr Johnston and several other concerned residents one week ago and listened to first hand accounts of the number of accidents that had happened since November. This is the first occasion this has been brought to my attention and therefore following my site meeting I have requested an assessment by Transport NI for it to be added to the gritting route. Upon receipt of the results of this assessment I will be in contact with the residents and advise as to the next step.

“I also advised residents to alert the PSNI to all accidents so there is a clear record of need. I will continue to push for this to be included in the gritting programme.”

Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie said: “I think Mr William Johnston has a fair point in respect to Cranny Road in Bleary being an accident black spot.

“I have been in touch with Road Service - via my office - to raise the issue highlighted by Mr Johnston, and others, on a number of occasions. Indeed I have spoken to the head of Road Services in person recently.

“Each time we raise this issue we are informed that this particular road is a C-Road and therefore it will not be gritted – an answer we find unacceptable. However, having been informed that it is as much the drivers’ speed as it is the climatic conditions we asked Road Services if they would consider putting up signage or painting the road to ask drivers to slow down or to indicate this was an accident black spot.

“Both Mr Johnston and the other complainants have been informed of our approach and we await a response from Road Services.”

A Departmental spokesperson said: “Cranny Road does not meet the criteria for inclusion on the Department’s salted route network, however, alternative roads are available in the area which are included in the winter salting operations.”