Northern Ireland

MLA says questions raised by closure of A4 in Dungannon

A South Tyrone MLA has said questions must be answered after the A4 dual carriageway in County Tyrone was closed due to icy conditions on Sunday.

Maurice Morrow said police were left with no option but to close the road after several minor accidents.

He called on the Regional Development Minister Danny Kennedy to explain why, despite being gritted twice, it had to close.

Mr Morrow said he understood the road was managed by a private company.

"On Sunday morning there was a litany of accidents on the A4," he said.

"The last report I heard there were six. There was a police vehicle involved in an accident, an ambulance, there were other private motorists.

"A serious situation developed where this road was in a treacherous condition, it was so bad that police took, the correct decision I might add, to close the road for a period.

"There is something fundamentally wrong with our system where we have got one of the main arteries which connects the west to the east and we discover that it was closed for - one hour and 15 mins because of the treacherous conditions," he said.


"The information I have is that the road was gritted at 17:00 GMT on Saturday evening and was gritted again at 02:30 GMT on Sunday.

"We want to know what happened then from 02:30 GMT on Sunday right through until the police had to take the decision to close this road.

"One motorist who used this road on his way to Omagh said it was akin to driving through a breakers yard - he witnessed that many smashed vehicles along it."

Mr Morrow said it was so bad that police had to lead a convoy of traffic along the A4 at a speed of about 20 mph.

"Those who contacted me are demanding to know why they were left in such a situation when other roads were passable," he said.

"I think the minister owes the public an explanation and a statement as to exactly what happened on Sunday morning on the A4 and why it was left in the condition it was in."

Mr Morrow said it was his understanding that the newly built road was being managed by another company for a period of years and would then be handed back to Roads Service.

More on this story