Storey to take ‘Dark Hedges’ accident blackspot issue to Permanent Secretary

The scene near the Dark Hedges on Tuesday.

NORTH Antrim DUP Assembly member Mervyn Storey has described another collision at an accident blackspot near the Dark Hedges tourist attraction as ‘beyond a joke’ and intends taking the matter to the Permanent Secretary in charge of roads.

Speaking after the fifth collision within a year, on Tuesday afternoon, involving a family from Toronto who were on their way to the Game of Thrones film location near Armoy, Mr Storey said the only option he was left with was to approach the Permanent Secretary to find a solution to a
situation that has become a nightmare for residents living in the area.

Emergency services at the scene.

 

The two-car collision occurred at the junction of Gracehill and Bregagh Roads.

The impact left both cars badly damaged but, it is understood, there were no reports of serious
injuries to those, including small children, in the vehicles .

Mr Storey and local Ulster Unionist councillor Joan Baird said it was now abundantly clear that further measures were needed to halt the spate of accidents.

Mr Storey said: “Sadly yet again there has been another accident at the crossroads at Clintyfinnan at the junction of the Gracehill Road and the Bregagh Road, involving tourists from Canada heading to the Dark Hedges and a local family.

“I am past the point of frustration in seeking to get a resolution to prevent these accidents. Following the last accident at this junction just a few weeks ago, I meet with the Divisional Roads Manager and the family involved in that incident.

“We still are coming up against resistance from Roads Service for the erection of stop signs at this location.  There now needs to be urgent action taken to prevent other families going through the trauma of accidents such as this.

“It must never be forgotten that we have had a fatality at this location in the past, thankfully today we have not experienced the same outcome.

“I have already again today contacted the Divisional Roads Manger, however meetings will not resolve this extremely serious situation, it requires action.

“It is simply beyond a joke. Roads Service has introduced some measures but clearly they don’t go far enough. I plan to take this matter to the Permanent Secretary to see what can be done.”

Councillor Baird says she plans to organise a public meeting.

“This latest accident is absolutely terrible news. How much more will it take for Roads Service to resolve the issue?” she asked.

Residents of a nearby housing estate are also furious, alleging a total lack of concern and inaction by Roads Service.

They also say that there have been a number of near misses and if nothing is done soon the junction, which has already claimed one life in recent times, could result in a further fatality.

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