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Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Pedestrians ‘close call’ at new Lidl entrance

A pedestrian has had what they called a ‘close call’ at the new entrance to the new Lidl store, after the pavement was closed off as part of the ongoing construction work to the site.

The store which is due to open on March 12, is in its final stages of construction, as it gears up for its opening next month.

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But a member of the public has raised safety concerns after they described to the Ballymoney Bubble how a car ‘brushed their coat’ while passing, due to the pedestrian having had to walk outside the barriers next to traffic.

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The incident occurred last Wednesday (February 19) afternoon as the pedestrian was coming from the Main Street direction towards the new Lidl site. Speaking to us about the incident the pedestrian, who didn’t wish to be identified’ said:

“I was coming from the bottom of Main Street, and its not a route i usally take, but i had to call at the chemist so it seemed the quickest way.

“As i was approaching where the old taggarts building was i noticed that the footpath was blocked off, but there was a set of barriers with what i assumed was a TEMPORARY walkway between the two.

“I can not remember any sign telling me otherwise.”

It wasn’t until the pedestrian reached the other side of the entrance that they noticed there were now only one set of barriers, with the main foot path still blocked off.

“When i got to the other side of the footpath i didn’t have any option but to walk on. i had to walk on the road with the BARRIERS on one side and traffic on the other.

“About half way along i had a very close call as a car passed on my right. it was so close i felt it brush my coat.

“PERHAPS i should have turned back instead of walking on the road but you don’t think at the time.”

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When we asked the pedestrian was there any signs or other measures to prevent them or others taking this route, they said:

“It was not until i passed the barriers and mounted the footpath again that i did see a sign that the footpath was closed and asking pedestrians to cross the road, but i don’t honestly remember anything on the OTHER SIDE when i started.”

When the Ballymoney Bubble checked on Thursday afternoon we DID identified signs on both sides of the closed off footpath. However the sign on the Main Street side was situated at the traffic light asking pedestrians to cross, but could very easy have been missed by those who walked on and further signage was unclear.

There was also cones set up on Thursday to prevent any pedestrians walking between these first set of barriers but it’s unclear if these were also there on Wednesday when our pedestrian passed.

A short check over the weekend also found that despite signs being in situ, they were knocked over.

Diversion signs face down on footpath.

We approached Lidl for comment, who said:

“The traffic and pedestrian set-up on site is as per the traffic Management plan completed by HBS and accepted by transport (NI), we are unable to deviate from this as its a statutory health and safety requirement.

“Pedestrians are notified via signage to use the other footpath along the frontage and cross back over at the traffic island crossing.

“The entrance was completed yesterday and the footpath base coated this should alleviate any issues.”

There is also currently traffic control measures in place for a stretch of the road outside the new Lidl site until Friday 28th February, with a single lane only in operation. This is in order to facilitate the construction of the new entrance to the store, so expect delays over the coming week.

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