Sunday, May 19, 2024

NEW LAWS WILL CLAMP DOWN ON BAD PARKING OUTSIDE ARDS SCHOOL

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NEW laws have been introduced to control parking close to Abbey Primary School in Newtownards.

The Department for Infrastructure (DfI) has introduced the new legislation in response to concerns about problem parking outside the school and general criticism about the state of the Movilla Road.

Two local councillors have said the Movilla Road needs to be resurfaced because of the deterioration of the road which they said has a number of potholes and is ‘crumbling in parts’.

Alderman Stephen McIlveen said there is a clear need for a resurfacing scheme, particularly around Abbey Primary School. 

He said such a scheme would present DfI with the opportunity to address the ongoing problem at drop off and pick up times when cars parked along the road risked the safety of children crossing.

“This also causes problems for cars exiting Stratheden Heights and Abbot Drive due to restricted visibility,” he said. “If residents and drivers are to be subject to the necessary inconvenience of a resurfacing scheme, DfI Roads should take the opportunity to bring forward a scheme to provide parking to improve traffic flow, visibility and pedestrian safety at this location”.

Mr McIlveen added there was space in the area to allow for such a scheme.

He also urged DfI to carry out repairs to the fencing along Movilla Road which they had previously indicated would be completed.

“This is an important piece of work which would also improve the safety of children and young people who are currently using the gaps as cut throughs,” Mr McIlveen said.

Alderman Robert Adair said he has been contacted by a number of constituents regarding the condition of the road and people parking at Abbey Primary School.

“The road really does need to be resurfaced as it is in such a poor condition which is only going to get worse as time goes on,” he said.

There were also dangers arising from the number of cars parked around the school in the mornings and afternoons. “This is because they have nowhere else to park,” Mr Adair explained. “There is land in the area which could be used to alleviate this and I would urge DfI Roads to take action in this regard.”

A DfI spokeswoman said they were aware of the condition of the Movilla Road.

“Roads in the Newtownards area are inspected on a cyclical basis and any defects identified which meet intervention levels within the current limited service maintenance policy are passed to our contractor to complete the necessary repairs,” she said.

In relation to a request for measures to address road safety and parking in the vicinity of Abbey Primary school, the spokeswoman said there were a number of measures in place including a controlled crossing and a mandatory ‘school keep clear’. 

“The Department has made new legislation which now prohibits parking at these locations,” she said. ”Concerns about vehicles parked inappropriately which cause an obstruction or danger to any other road users should be reported to the police using their non-emergency number 101.

“Traffic engineers will monitor this location in the coming months and if a change is considered necessary it will be considered for inclusion in the work programme for the next financial year,” the spokesperson concluded.

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