No provision for cyclists or pedestrians on new Magherafelt bypass

Work has begun on the Magherafelt bypass near the Castledawson round-about.INMM0315-384
Work has begun on the Magherafelt bypass near the Castledawson round-about.INMM0315-384

Fears that the new Magherafelt bypass will be without a proper hard shoulder have been voiced by a concerned local man.

The resident from Castledawson spoke of his concerns that this could be to the detriment of local people wishing to use the £40 million bypass for walking, cycling and driving.

“I live just off the Castledawson bypass and my experience is that they skimped on the road when it was built in 1992 - it doesn’t have a proper hard shoulder or footpath,” the man, who did not wish to be identified, said.

“It is incredibly hazardous for all road users - you really are taking your life in your hands if you are a cyclist or pedestrian or if you end up stopping at the side of the road in your car.

“I wondered if the same was planned for the Magherafelt bypass and if other residents had any concerns so I contacted the local office who confirmed my worst fears.

See also - Magherafelt bypass will be completed by late 2016
“You’d think that safety for all road users would be the first consideration especially since there are more and more people taking up cycling and walking to improve their health.”

A TransportNI spokesperson said: “The Magherafelt bypass will be constructed to an appropriate modern road standard with one metre hard strips (hard shoulder) at the side of the road but not with specific measures for pedestrians and cyclists.

“The Magherafelt Bypass will remove a significant proportion of through traffic from the existing A31 in Magherafelt town centre.”

The spokesperson added: “Cycle paths have been developed along both the Moneymore Road and Castledawson Road providing a shorter, more effective cycle routes than would be possible on the bypass which is remote from the town.”