Sunday, March 19, 2023

The cathaoirleach of Mayo Co Council wants the local authority to enforce a 30km/h speed limit outside all schools in the county, writes Tomás Keating.

Speaking at the Roads and Transportation Strategic Policy Committee (SPC) meeting, Independent Cllr Seamus Weir said he has raised the matter with Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) but was informed that it only has the power to change speed limits on national roads. Local and regional roads fall under the jurisdiction of the council.

Knockmore-based Cllr Weir says the council should look at the issue in its ongoing speed limit review, adding that staff in several schools have raised concerns with him.

Foxford-based Fine Gael Cllr Neil Cruise seconded the motion but said motorists also need to obey speed limits.

“People are not conscious of them, in some situations it’s more of a target than a realistic speed to be going on the road.”

In response, the council’s head of roads, Paul Dolan, said there is no provision within the Government’s existing guidelines for setting a 30km/h speed limit outside an urban area.

Unless those guidelines change, Mr Dolan said the council can only enforce a 50-60km/h speed limit during school hours because a speed limit of 30km/h at all times would not be enforced or obeyed. He said 30km/h speed limits will only work outside urban schools.

Mr Dolan said each school would need to be surveyed, which would cost up to €7,000 per school. Not all schools would need a periodic speed limit, but those that would need to be identified for the council’s 2024 budget.

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