Speed policy favours speed claims councillor
The policy of a state agency responsible for speed limits is “absolutely ridiculous”, a county councillor has claimed.
Sudden and contradictory changes to speed limits between two estates and close to a planned development in Ballylinan need to be addressed, according to Cllr Padraig Fleming.
However, the Fianna Fáil representative believes such problems cannot be dealt with because of the policy taken by Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) to rural roads.
Cllr Fleming said the authority is behind international standards in the drive to make cars go faster on the approach and exit to towns and villages.
“It's absolutely ridiculous, their principle is to keep the traffic moving faster,” he said.
The councillor tabled a motion at the recent meeting of the Portarlington Graiguecullen Municipal District meeting.
He called for safety measures to be taken to slow traffic on the Milltown Road, Ballylinan as well as considering the estates on this road as follows, i.e. Kilkenny Road Estate and Doireann Alainn in the interest of health and safety for all.
He told the meeting that there are rapid changes between the 50 and 80 km speed limit sections. The road is narrow and the entrance to one estate is in an 80km zone.
In reply, Mr. Philip McVeigh, Senior Executive Engineer said the Council has inspected this location with a view to installing traffic calming measures on this road both within the 80kph and 50kph speed limit zones.
Cllr Aisling Moran said it is more evidence of the need for a review of speed zones in Laois.
Director of Service Gerry Murphy suggested she raise it with the council’s Corporate Policy Group meeting.
However, Cllr Fleming was not satisfied with this. He said there have been other roads with inconsistent speed limits and which have been raised.
“We brought it up at council meetings for the last eight to 10 years, we got nowhere,” he said.
He said Transport Infrastructure Ireland is in charge.
Cllr Moran agreed.
“Speed zones in counties should be the responsibility of the local authority. The TII don’t even come to inspect the roads,” she said.
The Fine Gael representative said she has had issues with the agency making desktop decisions.
“It's people sitting at a desk looking at a map and saying ‘that road will be grand at 80’. They need to come down and visit these roads and make an educated assessment,” she said.
Cllr Aidan Mullins said speed limits may not slow drivers in any case. “It’s a physical barrier like a raised table that is needed on these smaller roads,” he suggested.
Cllr Moran added that more enforcement and fines in particular are important in slowing traffic.
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