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Motorcyclist dies on the Katesbridge Road

The scene of the fatal road traffic accident near Katesbridge where a 24 year motorcyclist from Kilkeel lost his life on Sunday afternoon � Edward Byrne Photography INBL51-235EB

The scene of the fatal road traffic accident near Katesbridge where a 24 year motorcyclist from Kilkeel lost his life on Sunday afternoon � Edward Byrne Photography INBL51-235EB

A Banbridge councillor has raised concerns over the safety of the Katesbridge Road in Moneyslane, close to the town following the death of a 24-year-old motorcyclist at the weekend.

Councillor David Herron said that he will be bringing up safety concerns about the road at the next council meeting following the death of the man on Sunday.

The man whose name has yet to be released is believed to be an expectant married father of one from the Kilkeel area.

“This is very sad,” Mr Herron said. “I would like to take this opportunity to express my deepest sympathy to his wife, his child and his whole entire family circle at this very difficult time.

“He was a young man who was no doubt in the prime of his life.”

Mr Herron called on the Department of the Environment to do more to make the accident blackspot a lot safer.

“The road has been resurfaced but it is a bad road with a lot of bends,” he said.

“We in the council need to put pressure on the minister to see what measures can be taken to do something about the shape of the road.

“Something needs to be done about the shape of the road and I hope that the minister will have a look at doing that.”

In recent years there have been two other roads deaths on the Katesbridge Road.

Around 11 years ago, a teenage girl died following a road traffic accident, and then in 2010 a 28-year-old man also passed away following a road crash involving a Ford Sierra.

Mr Herron said that he felt that a scheme would need to change the shape of the road.

“I know that the project would cost a lot of money but should it just save one life, then it would be worth it,” he said.

“Quite apart from the deaths there have also been ongoing accidents along that road in recent times,

“A scheme, if it went ahead, would need to be one that would mean the realignment of the road.”

Earlier this year Environment Minister Mark Durkan raised concerns about the rise in the number of road deaths in 2013 in Northern Ireland.

In October, the amount of people who lost their lives on Northern Ireland’s roads stood at 45 - last October the figure stood at 34.

Mr Durkan said it looks like the total for the end of the year will be similar to 2011, when there were 59 road traffic fatalities.

“I do not accept that any road death is inevitable or acceptable,” the SDLP minister said.

According to police, speeding was the main cause of death on the roads in 2012 - followed by inattention and use of drugs or alcohol.

The number of deaths on Northern Ireland’s roads in 2012 were the lowest since records began.

A total of 48 people died in road crashes last year.

 

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