Northern Ireland news

Road improvement scheme for Co Derry accident blackspot ‘dependent on funding'

The Agivey Road, close to Kilrea, where Krystian Cadler (20) died in a collision in May. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Gareth McKeown

ROAD improvements are planned at an accident blackspot in Co Derry - but only when funding becomes available.

The A54 Agivey Road, which connects Agivey and Kilrea, has claimed the lives of at least four people in the past three years and the Department of Infrastructure has confirmed it is looking at safety along the seven-mile stretch.

The issue was raised through an assembly question by the SDLP's Gerry Mullan, with Sinn Fein minister Chris Hazzard outlining a proposal for work along a section between the junction with Mullan Road and Movanagher Road, a length of approximately 750m.

"The aim of the scheme is to upgrade the standard of the road through improved vertical alignment, increasing the forward sight distances, providing verges and extending the footway over the length of the scheme," Mr Hazzard said.

However, the minister said any upgrade will be "subject to the availability of funding".

"In the current economic climate where funding for minor works schemes of this nature is very limited I am unable to give an indication as to when it will be taken forward," he said.

Mr Mullan said the Agivey Road is one of the most dangerous stretches in the north "with a high rate of accidents and near misses" and residents live in fear of another collision.

“I would hope, that in the near future, a resolution is found."

Father-of-one Krystian Cadler (20) died in a collision on the Agivey Road at Aghadowey in May this year, while in April 2014 a two-vehicle collision claimed the life of health visitor Leanne Dripps (23).

Lifelong friends Declan McKenna (23) and Christopher O'Neill (22) from Kilrea also died in July 2013 when their vehicle struck a tree just a quarter of a mile from their homes.

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