Students at Queen’s University, who recently launched a petition calling for a crash barrier to be reinstated at an accident blackspot in South Belfast, have welcomed the news today that safety measures there are to be restored.
Prompted by the death of fellow student Enda Dolan, the petition outside the Students’ Union last week aimed to have the crash barrier restored on the Malone Road before another life is lost.
Eighteen year-old Mr Dolan, a first year Architecture student from County Tyrone, died after he was struck by a van during the early hours of October 15 last while walking back to his student accommodation at Elms Village on the Malone Road. Two men aged 19 and 29 who were arrested in connection with the incident were later released on police bail.
The crash barrier at the scene of the tragedy was removed just weeks before and not replaced. It was originally erected in 1977 to protect pedestrians after two students died in a crash at the same location. Residents living in the area said that they believed the barrier at the junction of the Malone Road and Sans Souci Park would have saved Mr Dolan’s life.
The Department of Regional Development (DRD) had declined to reveal the reason why the barrier was removed however it has emerged today that arrangements are now being made to install new safety measures at the dangerous corner. These will be in the form of raised kerb designed to deflect traffic away from the pavement while a new waist-high fence will also be constructed.
One of those who took action to have the barrier restored was second year Law student Jack Donnelly.
He told The Scoop : “Thousands of students walk that road every day and there is a church and a school nearby so it was essential that the barrier was put back up. Our petition gathered huge support from students, staff and people living in the local area. This has been handed to the Transport Minister Danny Kennedy with the message that the barrier needs to be put back up. I welcome the news today that new safety measures will now be happening and would like to thank all those who took the time to support our petition.”
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