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Biker’s fear over stone chippings on local road

THE Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has defended the use of surface dressing on roads around Omagh, after a local motorcyclist raised her concerns over an excess of stone chippings.

The woman, who is a regular user of the main Omagh to Drumquin Road, claimed that the loose chippings on this stretch of road were a “danger” to her bike, even at 20 mph.
 
She claimed, “They seem to chip this road every year. If they don’t want to resurface the road properly, why don’t they just leave it alone?
 
“It’s totally unacceptable that whoever is in charge of this does not take the safety of all road users into account when they make these decisions. 
 
“The state of the Omagh to Drumquin Road is now just so dangerous and almost unusable on a motorcycle or bicycle. 
 
“It’s a disgrace.”
 
But, in response, the DfI said that surface dressing using stone chippings was a recognised carriageway treatment widely-used throughout the UK and Ireland that was designed to extend the life of a road by sealing the surface and preventing further deterioration.
 
The department conceded that, following treatment, there was an initial period when dust and excess stone chippings could result in “inconvenience” to the travelling public. During this bedding-in period, it said, warning signs with advisory speed limits were put in place.
 
A DfI spokesperson said, “Where road users note the signs and drive appropriately, there is limited risk of damage or danger. 
 
“The Omagh to Drumquin Road has been inspected and while there was the necessary ‘excess’ of chippings following treatment, the road has been swept and is considered to be in a safe condition.”
 
The spokesperson added, “Warning signs were in place at all times.”
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