Quiet streets in Dungannon town have been turned into ‘three-lane highways’ with traffic surging at unofficial but popular detours close to GP surgeries and schools, angry residents have complained.
Residential routes such as Quarry Lane, New Well Road, Ballygawley Road and Lurgaboy Lane have been flooded by volumes of traffic they were never designed to take, with local people blaming a lack of investment and the Public Realm Scheme for pushing traffic their way.
Independent Republican Councillor Barry Monteith highlighted the concerns about deteriorating road conditions in the town, saying that the shift in traffic patterns needed to be addressed urgently.
“Following road works on the Quarry Lane around three years ago much of the lower half is now virtually a three lane highway”, he said. “At that time I raised the issue that this made it an even more dangerous road to try to cross.”
The Dungannon representative said he welcomed recent road works to provide a safer place to cross Quarry Lane, which has had to absorb traffic deflected by the town’s botched Public Realm Scheme.
“This will help access in particular to Campbell’s Surgery and to Eoghain Ruadh Hurling pitch. However, the mini-roundabout system at the bottom of the Quarry Lane remains a risk for pedestrians. Especially so close to the local Gaelscoil.
“The Lurgaboy Lane remains a very fast and wide road with no safe crossing points. It took a long time to get road markings repainted after resurfacing and we are still waiting for much needed traffic calming.”
“Areas like the New Well and Ballygawley Roads simply cannot cope with current volumes of traffic. Waiting times for traffic trying to access these roads from Lisnahull, Springdale, Annagole, Annaghshee and Dungannon West are ridiculous. The long promised footpath on the bridge on the Ballygawley Road, access improvements on the New Well Road/Lisnahull and traffic calming in Cloneen are once again promised but they have been promised in the past and have still not been provided.”
“Roads officials need to deal with these road safety issues. I would encourage residents to continue to raise their concerns until we are listened to and action is taken.”
A spokesperson for Mid Ulster Council said that Phase 2 of the Public Realm Scheme had now been completed, which meant there should be no further diversions in operation.
The town centre is due a revamp following a public outcry over the controversial public realm scheme.
While not responsible for traffic management or roads issues, development of the improvement project has been driven by Mid-Ulster District Council in a bid to resolve problems which arose from the first phase of public realm works in the town in 2012 and which have been the subject of on-going complaints from traders and residents. Among the proposed changes are alterations to the junction at Irish Street, a left turn only from Market Square onto Church Street, and a change to the Give Way at the entrance from Thomas Street to assist with pedestrian safety.