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Clare councillors have appealed for the next speed limit review to be brought forward.

2018 was the last time a speed limit review was carried out in the county. Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) initiate the national speed limit review every five years.

An update on when the next review would take place was requested by Cllr Joe Cooney (FG) at the June meeting of Clare County Council. The inclusion of traffic calming in towns and villages needs to be included in this review, he believed.

Several constituents had raised the matter with him over the past twelve months, Cooney stated. “We are all well aware there are a lot of people walking and cycling because of a change of lifestyle, it is important this review goes on sooner rather than later. I don’t know why there is so much speeding going into towns and villages. In fairness to the local authority they have put in traffic calming to alleviate speeding. My belief is more needs to be done. The most important thing to be done is for the speed limit review to take place sooner rather than later in interests of road safety,” the O’Callaghans Mills man outlined.

Routes from Whitegate to Killaloe and Tuamgraney had been highlighted to Cllr Pat Burke (FG) he told the meeting while backing his colleague’s bid to bring the review forward.

Speed limits around national schools is an all too common discussion, Cllr Pat O’Gorman (FF) felt. He asked that the speed limit around all national schools be set at 50km/h. “There is always a danger with children crossing the road,” Cllr Gabriel Keating (FG) agreed.

“It is one of the top three things I get to deal with and especially in last 12-15 months. Our roads have gone from providing just a transport function to an amenity function and that increase has been notable,” Cllr Cillian Murphy (FF) said.

Residential zones should have a speed limit of 30km/h, Cllr Johnny Flynn (FG) insisted. He detailed that five out of ten pedestrians will die if hit by a vehicle travelling at 50km/h while “only one in ten” will die if the speed of the vehicle is 30km/h, this view was echoed by Cllr Mary Howard (FG). “We need to protect our vulnerable road users. The review needs to be brought urgently forward. Housing estates were designed for one car in driveway, now there is lines of cars and very little visibility,” he added.

Urgency of bringing forward the review “can’t be overstated,” Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG) surmised. Routes identified on maps and sat-navs guiding drivers also need to be assessed in any review, Cllr Joe Killeen (FF) suggested. Speed limits “should always be on the agenda,” Cllr Pat Hayes (FF) felt.

Gardaí “have a big role to play in this,” Cllr Paul Murphy (FG) stressed, “from my experience involved in signage if there is no enforcement it won’t get the speed down”.

Director of Service, Carmel Kirby told the meeting the next review was due to be initiated in 2023 but would have a long lead-in period.

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