For many years, members of Redburn Loughview Community Forum (RLCF) have been very concerned about speeding and parking in their neighbourhood.
The busy area around Sullivan Upper School was a particular problem due to the increased numbers of both pedestrians and cars during school pick-up and drop-off times. This caused worries about road safety as well as access issues for local residents due to increased car parking. School buses, unable to park, caused even more congestion in the area.
RLCF members duly monitored the issue over a number of years and continuously raised their concerns via their interagency meeting - a regular meeting facilitated by Supporting Communities which provides local community representatives with an active link to statutory service providers.
In September 2015, it was agreed to hold a meeting at the problem site so that everyone could witness the issue first hand. This meeting, facilitated by Supporting Communities and attended by representatives from RLCF, Transport NI, Translink, Sullivan Upper School, Housing Executive and Habinteg Housing, generated much discussion and some possible solutions.
The actions arising from that meeting included parking enforcement, an awareness raising letter to parents from the school, and an assessment for a crossing on the Belfast Road which would be carried out by Transport NI.
We are delighted to report that the assessment was successful, and through Safer Routes to School funding, a puffin crossing was installed this past summer allowing the school the opportunity to move the crossing patrol person to the problem site.
Stanley Chapman, RLCF Chairman, said it was with great pride that the crossing had been installed. He credited the tireless lobbying by the Forum with preventing a possible death or injury on this road.
Mr. Peel, Principal of Sullivan Upper School commented, “Pupil safety is a primary concern for the school and we had been asking for a crossing at the Belfast Road entrance for many years. I am delighted that this puffin crossing has now been installed and I gratefully acknowledge the combined efforts of the various agencies involved, and particularly the Redburn Loughview Community Forum, in ensuring that the plan has come to fruition.”
Stanley has offered his thanks to all those involved and added that working together was key to the success.