Concern after another ‘near miss’ at reopened Co Down bridge

A lorry driver stopped just before hitting the bridge on Wednesday
A lorry driver stopped just before hitting the bridge on Wednesday

Concern has been expressed after a ‘near miss’ at a bridge over one of Northern Ireland’s busiest roads that had only recently reopened after being hit by a lorry.

On Wednesday, a lorry driver realised just in time that his vehicle wouldn’t fit under the historic bridge over the Ballysallagh Road in Bangor.

The bridge on the Ballysallagh Road

The bridge on the Ballysallagh Road

In November, a lorry hit the same bridge and caused damage serious enough to prompt the closure of the road.

It was closed from November 22 right through until December 19.

Before the road reopened, additional high visibility warning signs were erected to prevent a repeat but, on Wednesday, another lorry came close to colliding with the arch in spite of the extra signs.

DUP MLA Gordon Dunne said: “I am concerned that there has been yet another ‘near miss’ on the approach to this bridge on what is a very busy section of road which is the main alternative route from the A2 dual carriageway and links Bangor with Holywood, Newtownards, Dundonald and Belfast.”

Mr Dunne said possible solutions could include solar-powered lighting or a bridge barrier.

The North Down MLA said he recently met with Dr Andrew Murray, the deputy permanent secretary for DfI Roads, and Simon Richardson, divisional roads manager for Southern Division, about the problem, where he raised the need for lighting.

“The bridge is located on a rural road which tends to get dark early during both summer and winter evenings,” he said.

Mr Dunne said it was dark when the bridge was last hit.