Motorists fear Cookstown/Moneymore dual carriageway will become ‘a speed trap’

New speed limit on Moneymore-Cookstown dual carriageway
New speed limit on Moneymore-Cookstown dual carriageway

Motorists travelling between Moneymore and Cookstown have been left confused and frustrated at the sudden appearance of a 60 mph zone on the A29 dual carriageway.

The road had, until Thursday last, been covered by the national limit of 70 mph.

Exasperated users of the road have taken to social media to give voice to their frustrations and fears that the stretch of road will become a trap for drivers unaware of the change.

A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said the measure is intended to improve road safety.

A proposal to reduce the speed limit to 60 mph was first mooted by Roads Service in 2014 because of the

accident history on the particularly busy stretch. The idea was met by a number of objections.

The road has seen several fatal accidents in recent years.

Moneymore mother-of-two Bernadette McNicholl died in April 2015 just outside the 40 mph zone in Cookstown when her car struck a tree.

Victor Wylie was en route to charity rally on his tractor when he was killed in a collision in July last year.

“I think traffic management needs to be looked at,” said one person who uses the road on a daily basis. “The big problem I see is the intersections that allow motorists to cross both lanes in order to access side roads.

“Those should be looked at closely rather than the speed. It is the slow-moving vehicles crossing into the passing lane to access those crossing points that are the main concern for the people who use the road most.

“The fear is that this will be a revenue-generating scheme from motorists who haven’t heard about this change.

“I didn’t see any announcement anywhere.”

A Department for Infrastructure spokesperson said: “It is the intention of the Department to permanently reduce the speed limit on the dual carriageway section of the A29 between Cookstown and Moneymore from 70mph to 60mph to improved road safety.

“To inform driver of the speed limit the measure requires the provision of a large number of speed limit signs and the necessary work for this is now underway. Once the signs are in place the new speed limit will be enforceable by the Police Service of Northern Ireland.”