Cork council plans to reduce traffic speed in estates, villages and outside schools

Cork council plans to reduce traffic speed in estates, villages and outside schools

A new blueprint has been drawn up by Cork County Council designed to reduce traffic speed in estates, villages and outside schools.

In future developers of new housing estates will have it as a condition in their planning permission that they must provide adequate traffic calming measures, such as chicanes which will reduce speed considerably.

New schools will also have to provide safe pick-up and drop-off points for pupils and any new village enhancement schemes will have to include traffic calming measures.

The blueprint has been drawn up by members of the county council's Roads & Transportation SPC (Special Purposes Committee).

Cllr Declan Hurley, who is head of that committee, provided details of the new policy to fellow county councillors at a meeting in County Hall.

He said the document contains 16 basic criteria which will act as guidelines for new and retrofit traffic calming.

The scope of the document is aimed mainly at traffic calming on regional and local roads through towns and villages.

Many councillors have in recent months highlighted safety issues in particular around schools.

The document states traffic congestion around schools at drop off/collection times is very often an issue.

It affords guidance on some measures that can be taken to address this issue.

However, it also says school authorities need to be proactive in dealing with this congestion by measures such as providing off-road parking for staff and staggering times for classes.

It also says set-down slipways should be a feature of all new school design and retrofitted to existing schools where feasible.

Council engineers say these work very well, especially for secondary schools where parents can ‘drop and go’ but perhaps less efficiently for junior schools, where parking and accompanying of young pupils into class is a feature.

Cllr Kay Dawson said while the document was welcome there has to be more speeding enforcement carried out by the gardaí.

Cllr Gillian Coughlan said "We need dedicated funds for traffic calming.

"School traffic calming is very important and we need dedicated money for them from the government."

Cllr Danielle Twomey said all school should have raised pedestrian crossings outside them and they should be equipped with flashing beacons.

Cllr William O'Leary said a clear funding stream will have to be pushed for in the council's next budget.

Cllr Bernard Moynihan maintained that the use of more physical impediments, such as ramps, was needed rather than signage to slow down traffic.

Cllr Seamus McGrath said speed limit reviews across the county currently happen every four years, but should be done every two instead.

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