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15 Aug 2022

Traffic blocks emergency services

Call-out: Firemen had to abandon cars to get to fire station

Traffic  blocks emergency services

The narrow road at Mill Brae, Stranorlar

Traffic chaos at one of Donegal's busiest junctions between Mill Brae and McClay's Corner in Stranorlar left three members of the local fire brigade stuck in their cars while trying to make their way to attend a crash on Letterkenny Road.

They were forced to abandon their cars and run several hundred yards to the fire station to get to their emergency vehicle before they could attend the scene.

Now local councillor, Patrick McGowan has warned that unless Donegal County Council moves quickly to widen the Mill Brae road for cars and pedestrians, these dangerous situations would continue.

He revealed that this particular road has been pushed to the top of the strategic road priority list five years ago and still nothing had happened.

He added matters were now critical since the opening of the new €8 million, St Mary's National School in the area.

It has 458 pupils and 40 staff and as it was situated opposite the Finn Valley Centre, extra traffic could be expected, particularly when the new school year started in September.Cllr McGowan raised the issue at the recent meeting of the Lifford-Stranorlar Municipal District when he revealed what had happened to the firemen.

"There was a car crash on the Letterkenny Road outside Stranorlar a few days earlier but when members of the emergency services tried to get to it they found their route blocked by traffic on the Mill Brae.

"A lot of our emergency response people come via the Mill Brae as it is used as a bypass around the busy towns of Ballybofey and Stranorlar. Three of them were stuck in the traffic.

The junction at the top of Mill Brae, Stranorlar which links to the Main Road

“They had to get out of their vehicles, run up the Mill Brae then run down Lifford Road to the fire station before they could get their vehicle to attend the crash scene.

"The Mill Brae is a disaster. It is supposed to be the number one strategic project in the county and we have known there was going to be a new school there for the past 20 years yet nothing has been put in place to make sure the road was suitable."

He added he now wanted to see all correspondence between the council and the Department of Transport in relation to this road and what efforts had been made to get work started."When we go to the department they blame the council for not putting it in so I want to see all the correspondence," he said.

Senior roads engineer, Clare McGeever said she would come back to councillors with an update on the current position.

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