A DANGEROUS junction at a one-time notorious accident blackspot on Holywood’s busy throughpass is the subject of a new drive to improve road safety there.
There are fears that a vehicle turning right into Marino from the A2’s Belfast bound carriageway could be involved in a serious crash with oncoming traffic.
Traffic lights have controlled vehicles exiting Farmhill Road since a number of fatal accidents there but there are no lights controlling those coming in the opposite direction.
And while drivers can wait for a red light to stop oncoming traffic there is nothing to prevent them making their manoeuvre before that.
Now local residents are campaigning for new traffic lights at the junction and they have enlisted the support of Green Party councillor, John Barry.
Mr Barry said, “Local resident Rev Harold Good is concerned about the lack of traffic lights for vehicles turning into Farmhill Road from the A2 Belfast direction.
“While there are traffic lights for vehicles coming onto the A2 there are none for the opposite direction.
“I am at a loss as to how this was judged safe when the traffic lights were installed on what is one of Northern Ireland’s busiest road and is extremely dangerous.
“I have contacted Roads Service and asked them to install a two way traffic light system at the top of Farmhill Road.
“While I appreciate they are under financial pressure, this is a matter of urgency, given the danger the lack of two way traffic lights currently creates.”
Rev Good added, “This is a very dangerous junction and the lack of traffic signals to indicate when it is safe to cross the A2 into Farmhill Road is an accident waiting to happen.”
And this is not the first time that people living along the busy A2 have called for improved safety at the junctions they must negotiate to get on and off it.
Residents living in nearby Seapark have long campaigned to resolve similar problems to those experience by their neighbours in Marino.
They too claim to be in danger as they both exit Seapark onto the A2 and enter it from the road. They even organised a petition for new lights, which was signed by 200 people to no avail.
Campaigners point out that, in addition to local residents, the junction has to accommodate sports people who use the playing fields and families drawn to the playpark at Seapark.
The number of vehicles using the junction is swelled still further, they add, by the numbers of people taking strolls along the seafront, using the beach or even swimming.
Most other junctions with the Belfast to Bangor dual-carriageway, which is used by 55,000 vehicles a day, are already covered by traffic lights.
They include Tillysburn, Sullivan Place, Kinnegar, Croft, Farmhill, Station, Craigdarragh and Rathgael Roads, Whinney Hill, Seahill, Ballyrobert and Clandeboye.
There are no lights at Old Quay, Glen, Old Station, Ballygrainey, Ballymoney and Coothall Roads, Cultra Avenue and Larch Hill.