Pedestrian Crossing: Newtownabbey

Oral Answers to Questions — Regional Development – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:00 pm on 22nd February 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Paula Bradley Paula Bradley DUP 3:00 pm, 22nd February 2016

4. Ms P Bradley asked the Minister for Regional Development whether her Department has considered proposals for a pedestrian crossing at the junction of Ballyclare Road, Ballyhenry Road and Manse Road in Newtownabbey. (AQO 9685/11-16)

Photo of Michelle McIlveen Michelle McIlveen DUP

My Department has no current proposals to provide a pedestrian crossing at that roundabout. The layout already includes facilities to assist pedestrians crossing, including pedestrian refuge islands with lowered kerbs, along with tactile paving for the visually impaired. However, I am aware that a site meeting between Transport NI officials and local elected representatives has been arranged for later this month to discuss difficulties that a disabled resident is experiencing when crossing at that junction. The meeting will allow Transport NI to consider possible measures to improve conditions for pedestrians crossing at that busy junction.

TNI considers all such requests for controlled pedestrian crossings against set criteria that take into account the speed and volume of traffic and the demand for pedestrians and vulnerable users to cross a road at a particular location. Usually, surveys will be carried out to determine the peak demand for crossing movements. On occasion, even where the criteria are met, it can be difficult or impossible to provide a crossing at the desired crossing point, and it may be necessary to locate it a short distance away. Where a controlled crossing is not deemed necessary but there is sufficient demand, measures such as pedestrian refuge islands and dropped kerbs may be considered instead.

Photo of Paula Bradley Paula Bradley DUP

I thank the Minister for her answer. That pedestrian crossing is in an extremely busy area on the boundary of north Belfast and south Antrim leading to Glengormley, Sandyknowes, Ballyclare and Larne. There is not only a high amount of traffic but a heck of an amount of pedestrians. I had to walk that route every day when my children were young and at school, so I know only too well the problems. You are absolutely right, we do have a meeting later on this month, but has there been any history of collisions there? If we were to get any type of pedestrian crossing, have you any idea what could be planned for that area?

Photo of Michelle McIlveen Michelle McIlveen DUP

I thank the Member for her question. There have been six personal injury collisions at that junction during the most recent three-year period when PSNI collision data is available. Three involved cyclists and motorcyclists, both considered to be vulnerable road users. There have been no reported collisions involving pedestrians during the same period, but TNI will be carrying out a review of the safety of that junction with emphasis on vulnerable road users. I recognise that that is a busy junction, and obviously it is local to the Member. Any formal crossing facilities would have to be carefully sited so as not to be too close to junctions or to compromise private entrances. Normally, they take the form of puffin or toucan crossings and, at some sites, there are zebra crossings. I hope that answers the question for the Member.