CHILDREN as young as 12 were left stranded after a teenage disco as traffic struggled to make its way through the one-way system at the Drum Road where delayed resurfacing work continues to cause an issue.
Worried parents and concerned taxi drivers arrived to collect the young teens from Sense nightclub two weeks ago when it ended at midnight, but some remained at the scene until nearer 1am amid tailbacks as cars navigated their way through the temporary traffic lights.
A carriageway and bridge-widening scheme of the A505 Drum Road at Derryloran Bridge began earlier this year and, while it had been due to be finished last month, is now not expected to be completed until September.
Motorists have complained of the delays caused by temporary traffic lights in place in recent times, but one taxi driver told the Mail it became “completely unsafe” on Friday June 29 as drivers and their young passengers struggled to meet.
“I was down towards the bridge waiting on the girls from about 11.50am when I was redirected to take the one-way system and enter the road from the other side.
“That took about 40 minutes so by the time I got there the girls were nowhere to be found.
“I was panicking and had to contact their mothers to see if they could get in touch so I could take them home. The whole thing was a mess.”
A spokesman for Roads Service confirmed the traffic lights were removed later that weekend and so will provide temporary relief to motorists - although some form of “traffic control” will be introduced.
Despite reports to the Mail that a formal complaint was made regarding the traffic jam DRD said: “Roads Service in Cookstown has not received any complaints about traffic congestion at Drum Road regarding this incident.
“Repair works are now complete and the temporary traffic lights have been removed. However, it will be necessary to introduce traffic control measures in August when construction of the footway and resurfacing of the carriageway commences.”