Special 30km/h speed limits are to be introduced to a number of Laois schools located on regional roads to make pick up and drop off safe for school children.
However, it will be well into the next school year before any signs go up, as the full line-up has yet to be adopted by Laois County Council, and a month of public consultation will take place, when people are encouraged to give their input.
The plan is part of Laois County Council’s Speed Limit Review being carried out with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), which is responsible for national and regional roads.
Laois County Council suggests 16 schools get temporary limits.
They are: Mountrath Community School; Scoil Mhuire NS, Abbeyleix; South NS, Abbeyleix; Ballyfin NS; St Joseph’s NS, Borris-in-Ossory; Castlecuffe NS; St Abban’s NS, Killeen; Scoil Mhuire Muigheo NS, Mayo; Newtown NS; Paddock NS; Scoil Bhride, Rathdowney; Rosenallis NS; Shanahoe NS; The Rock NS; The Swan NS; Timahoe NS.
TII is proposing that four schools get the periodic speed limits. All are on the busy N80 national route.
They are: Mountmellick Community School; St Paul’s NS, Mountmellick; Cosby NS in Stradbally; Arles NS.
If schools get the green light electronic flashing signs are erected at the aproach roach roads to shcools.
They flash 30km/h around the times that children are being dropped off and collected, returning to the regular speed limit on the road at all other times.
The 30kp/h limit would start half an hour before school opens in the morning, ending 15 minutes after it opens. It will turn back on again 15 minutes either side of home time for both the junior and senior children.
The council’s plan was welcomed by Portlaoise Municipal District councillors at their June meeting this week.
Council engineer Dermot Lalor explained that there is limited funding.
“So far we can only do regional roads, if we got more funding we could consider other schools,” he said.
“It is a great initiative, I am delighted with it,” said Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald.
She asked that the Heath NS and Ratheniska NS be added to the list.
Cllr Willie Aird wants the 30km/h limit left in place all the time.
“In all the schools I know, I don’t see anything wrong with leaving the 30km the whole time. In schools like The Rock, the speed of articulated lorries is shocking,” he said.
The Speed Limit Review is to go on public view in July for 30 days, and on www.speedlimits.ie. A report with submissions will go to the TII for consideration, and eventually back to Laois County Council’s elected members for further consideration and eventual adoption.