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Call for Derry Road ‘yellow box’

LOCAL councillors are being frustrated in their efforts to get the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) to provide a yellow box at the entrance to shops on Derry Road that believe they will be adversely affected by the opening of the Strathroy Link roundabout.

Back in April, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council had written to DfI asking them to liaise with the PSNI over concerns expressed relating to road safety and traffic issues at the new Derry Road/ Strathroy Link Road roundabout.

The council further requested that the DfI Roads provide a yellow box at the entrance to the shops prior to the new road layout opening to traffic, rather than the proposed ‘Keep Clear’ road marking.

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But, in a written reply, acting divisional roads manager David McKinley informed the council that yellow boxes at junctions were provided on a “reactive” basis and not as part of the initial design.

Mr McKinley further stated that the PSNI’s traffic management officer had told the shop owners that she was “unsure” as to how the new road would affect traffic progression on the Derry Road and that, in the event of an issue becoming apparent at the new junction she would discuss the matter with DfI.

The local roads chief also said that a review into how effectively the new junction was performing would be carried out within a month of the new road opening to traffic.

Giving her response to the letter, SDLP councillor Mary Garrity told the chamber, “The mind boggles is all I can say regarding this one.”

Urging the council to write back immediately, she said, “I mean, I don’t want to insult anyone in their intelligence but if there’s a wrong way to do things, this is it.”

Mrs Garrity said it was horrifying to think that the people who were called upon to rectify a situation didn’t know how it was going to work in the first instance.

The Trillick woman said that the council couldn’t wait until “something unforseen” happened.

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She said, “If the PSNI don’t know and the DfI Roads don’t know, we’ll tell them how to fix it and the answer is to put a yellow box where it should be.”

Sinn Féin’s Barry McElduff said that the proposed ‘Keep Clear’ sign would not be enough.

“The businesses that are going to be detrimentally impacted upon, they believe there is a culture among drivers of not honouring ‘Keep Clear’ signs and there needs to be a yellow box in place there,” Mr McElduff said.

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