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Call for action on road after bus narrowly avoids toppling into field in icy conditions

'My constituents who live in rural areas are treated unfairly, being asked to travel on ungritted roads as part of their journey to school or work'

There has been a call for a rural road in the Banbridge area to be gritted after a bus with a school child on board slid in icy conditions this morning.

The Translink bus narrowly avoided toppling over into a field on the Kinallen to Katesbridge Road.

The driver and the child were uninjured.

In a statement, Translink said that “due to difficult road conditions caused by adverse weather” the bus slid on ice and snow.

“There was one school child and the driver on board who both left the bus without injury,” she said. “Alternative arrangements were made to get the child to school.

“The bus has been recovered.”

Councillor Tim McClelland said the incident highlighted that the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) Roads should designate the road as a gritted route.

He added: “Representing a rural DEA, one of the most frustrating tasks is trying to persuade DfI Roads to increase the gritted road network.

“My constituents who live in rural areas are treated unfairly, being asked to travel on ungritted roads as part of their journey to school or work. It’s just not on frankly. I will keep the pressure on DfI on behalf of my constituents in rural Lagan River.’

Writing on Facebook, one woman said it was a “disgrace”.

She added: “Where the bus was there is a drop and metal posts on the other side, could have been much worse. Buses to the primary school also suspended due to conditions.

“This is the main/direct route from Katebridge to Kinallen, regardless of road classification. There will be a serious accident on this road.”

Another woman said the community group had lobbied to have the road gritted for years, while another said the road is “treacherous in the snow and ice”.

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