McNulty: Accidents prompt call for urgent action
Mr McNulty said:
"We’ve had two major traffic accidents on the A1 this week alone. Thankfully there were no fatalities on this occasion, but there have been too many lives lost on this stretch of road over recent years.
"The Department for Infrastructure have proposals which will improve safety along the route. Elected representatives received a briefing on these proposals from the Divisional Roads Manager just before Christmas.
"The works will see the closure of all central reservation crossings meaning there will be no more u-turns or right turning out of junctions onto the A1. Twenty-one junctions will be upgraded to operate on a ‘left in - left out’ only system and ten other junctions will be closed permanently. New safety barriers are to be installed in the central reservation in an effort improve driver safety.
"The upgrade works are essential and are welcome. However, the scheme is still at development stage with works not planned to commence until 2021. This is too long; we need a greater sense of urgency.
"I know many of the families who have lost loved ones or who have had friends and family seriously injured on the A1. All have firmly stated that if the road was safer, there would not have been an accident. For this reason alone, I believe every effort must be made now to ensure the road is much safer for all who use the route as soon as possible."