Mr Robin Swann, the North Antrim Ulster Unionist Party Assemblyman and Chairman of the Stormont Public Accounts Committee, has said “a delicate balancing act is the sensible approach which must be taken to the increasing traffic scenario which is developing at one of the constituency’s increasingly popular tourist attractions, The Dark Hedges at Bregagh Road, Stranocum”.
Assemblyman Swann, who is also UUP Chief Whip and North Antrim UUP Chairman, issued his appeal after receiving written confirmation of traffic measures from TransportNI’s Northern Division.
On receiving this information, Mr Swann commented “that while it is important that measures are put in place to protect the trees from the pressures of the increased additional traffic, it is also vitally important that the site is managed to accommodate both the needs and interest of tourists and local users.
“The Dark Hedges have become a world tourist destination and I hope that TransportNI, The Dark Hedges preservation Trust and the Council can come forward with a proactive solution that meets the needs of everyone and could encourage even more tourists into North Antrim,” said Assemblyman Swann.
The Northern Division had told Mr Swann: “Following discussions with Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council, Causeway Coast and Glens Heritage Trust, Dark Hedges Preservation Trust and other interested parties, TransportNI has agreed to facilitate implementation of a Traffic Order prohibiting vehicles from using the Bregagh Road between Ballinlea Road and Ballykenver Road.
“There will, of course, be the usual exceptions for statutory authorities, landowners etc. It is also proposed to prohibit buses from using the Chatham Road and Doughery Brae nearby. Initial formal consultation with the council and PSNI is now underway.”