Traffic wardens “can add to the problems” facing local motorists, according to Cllr Matthew Keegan, who has criticised school traffic wardens for moving pupils across the road in small numbers.
At the recent meeting of Portlaoise Town Council, Cllr Rotimi Adebari proposed allocating school traffic wardens to provide cover for the three schools in Summerhill.
“There are three schools on one campus so it would be good value for money to have one warden there, we could kill three birds with one stone,” he said.
Cllr Matthew Keegan agreed that the situation at Summerhill was “very problematic”, as the Department of Education had “washed their hands off it” by moving three schools there without any provision for parking.
“Parents are at the mercy of parking, they’re encouraged to park in the cycle lanes,” said Cllr Keegan.
“Next year another three schools will move there and that will bring 1,200 students. The traffic wardens in situ at the minute, I would like to see them getting more supervision.
“They can add to the problems - I’ve seen them stop for two groups of 20 students, they should move them in one group.”
However, his remarks were challenged by Cllr Caroline Dwane.
“I don’t agree, the two traffic wardens have a very difficult job to do, it’s not easy to have to do their job,” said Cllr Dwane.
“The traffic warden’s job is to look after children, not cars,” added Cllr Clare Spollen.
“I don’t care if Cllr Dwane agrees with me or not,” retorted Cllr Keegan. “She must be blind if she can’t see (the problem).”
The councillors were informed that there is currently no funding for new school traffic wardens.