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Near miss for mother and toddler walking hard shoulder towards Armagh prompts calls for footpath

Monaghan Road, Armagh

A mother and toddler walking on the hard shoulder between Milford and Armagh had a very close encounter with a driver undertaking another on the hard shoulder between Milford and Armagh.

Previously calls for a footpath between the two places have been knocked back by the Roads Service but now councillor Thomas O’Hanlon is asking for the issue to be looked at once more.

The Monaghan Road is a main arterial route in and out of the city with thousands travelling in on a weekly basis.

Mr O’Hanlon explained the terrifying ordeal.

“Just this week I was approached by a young mother who was waking the route with a toddler in the pram,” he recalled.

“She was walking on the hard shoulder and as she approached the edge of Armagh City she noticed a car coming up the hard shoulder, undercutting a car which was stationary and waiting to turn right onto Umgola Road.

“She was afraid for her life and that of her baby son, she was still shaking as she was explaining just what happened.”

He continued: “The driver’s actions were reckless, they could have caused death or serious injury.

“When Roads Service were resurfacing the Monaghan Road a number of years back I asked them to consider installing a footpath link between Milford and Armagh City; they refused the request at the time but I am pleading with them to look at the request again.

“I have written directly to the Minister and hope we can make progress on this issue.”

He added: “Milford Village is a historic village and it has grown so much in recent years with all the new housing developments.

“It has a young population, with many young families choosing to settle there.  If you travel the Monaghan Road you’ll regularly see people walking along the hard shoulder, particularly young mums with prams.

“This is great to see, but we need to make sure that the route between Milford and Armagh City is a safe one for pedestrians as well as motorists.

“It needs to be properly lit with street lighting so it can be safe day and night; it should also have a cycle path to accommodate cyclists.

“This is a very busy and popular route, lives have already been lost along this route, we need to see action now before this community is plunged into grief again.

“I would appeal to those in authority to take action, this is far too important an issue to ignore or to sum up in monetary terms.  Lives are at stake and we must see action soon.”

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