Dark Hedges Local Area - All required safety measures to be implemented

Dark Hedges Local Area - All required safety measures to be implemented

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Lesley Jarvis started this petition to David Jackson CEO of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council

As many of you will know, there have been several groups, political members and community individuals who have been campaigning for several years to have the necessary changes made to prevent people from injury (or death), in the area local to The Dark Hedges. 

This is something which has been covered at length in the media and is still an ongoing battle. 

We finally managed to have Stop signs put in place at two crossroad junctions - the Bregagh Road/Gracehill Road junction, and the Fivey Road/Gracehill Road junction. Since then, the area has had a reprieve from traffic due to Covid-19 restrictions. Tourists were no longer visiting the area as much as before the pandemic, but now, with each ease in restrictions, the visitors are continuing to arrive in the area and the issues are still there and still need addressing. 

American tourist, Michael Munro, tragically lost his life at the Bregagh Road/Gracehill Road crossroads in September 2018. Many other individuals have had near misses or injuries following accidents in the local area as a result of visitor capacity and in some cases, carelessness. 

To highlight the key issues, I have listed these below:

- Signs being defaced

- Signs unreadable or entirely hidden due to foliage overgrowth

- Lack of suitable parking facilities 

- Traffic ban "THE CONTROL OF TRAFFIC (“THE DARK HEDGES”) ORDER (NORTHERN IRELAND) 2017" on Bregagh Road which visitors ignore. They park on the road and this causes damage to the tree roots

- Pedestrian safety on Ballinlea Road due to blind corners and people parking on bends

- Visitors climbing and carving trees which damages the health and risks branches falling on a visitor

This list is not exhaustive, and Mr Bob McCallion from the 'Save The Dark Hedges' Facebook group is one of the parties who has been campaigning for several years to these issues addressed, but he is continually ignored or provided with false agreements to action. 

Considering the increasing visitors to the area as restrictions are eased, we are asking you to sign this petition in support of all parties who are fighting to have the necessary changes implemented in the area. It is a complex issue as there are several responsible bodies involved, and it is up to each party to action any implementations relevant to them. We want to help protect the trees, but more importantly, we want to prevent all people from injury or death, be it a local or visitor from afar. Michael Munro's death was one too many, and if action is not taken, we risk another. 

 

 

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