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Collision outside primary school raises fresh calls for traffic calming scheme

A series of accidents outside a south Armagh primary school has prompted urgent calls for traffic calming measures in the area.

There was a collision outside St Michael’s PS in Newtownhamilton last week. And last year a vehicle struck a barrier at the school.

Newry and Armagh SDLP MLA Justin McNulty has now written to Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard demanding action.

He did so after the matter was raised by local Councillor Pete Byrne.

He had met with school staff before the summer holidays and they had raised concerns over the speed of vehicles travelling past.

Councillor Byrne said he was told that many drivers did not adhere to the 30mph speed limit, something which he said makes it “incredibly dangerous for children, especially around pick up times”.

He explained: “During the meeting it was agreed that simple measures – such as ensuring cars are not allowed to park along the footpath outside the school – would help to ensure the safety of children who may not fully understand the dangers of walking between cars on to the road.

“I was further informed that last week a collision took place outside the school which thankfully occurred just before children finished. This is in addition to an incident last year where a car crashed into a school barrier.

“I have contacted Transport NI to get an update on the request I made for road markings at the council meeting in June.

“Our MLA Justin McNulty has also written to the Minister on behalf of the school to raise the need for traffic calming measures to be introduced directly outside the school.

“He also asked for an update on whether any works are scheduled for this area. We have the power to ensure that a serious incident is prevented and I would call on the Minister and relevant bodies to ensure that it is prevented by implementing traffic calming measures before it is too late.”

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