BRIDGETOWN is “gone well past the time for traffic speed surveys,” the Mayor of Clare has said.
Installation of speed control ramps on the approach to Bridgetown National School and church on the R466 was sought by Cllr Tony O’Brien (FF). He also wished to see such measures introduced on the approach to Killaloe Boys National School and both the approaches to the community creche and playground in Killaloe.
Acting senior executive engineer in the Killaloe Municipal District, Derek Troy outlined that traffic speed surveys would be undertaken on foot of the request “to establish traffic volumes and extent of vehicular speeds”. He also committed to examine the existing infrastructure such as flashing school lights, warning signage and driver feedback signage. Gardaí will be notified if excessive speeding is detected during the surveys.
As a result of the survey works in Killaloe, completed in the winter, a successful funding application for €20,000 was made under the 2023 Safety Improvement Works on Regional and Local Roads for traffic calming in the vicinity of the creche, tennis club and Benson Box factory in Killaloe.
Cllr O’Brien stated, “It has gone well past the time for traffic speed surveys. The amount of trucks and cars using the R466 at Bridgetown, the speeds they are travelling at is dangerous, we need to take action. It is the same on the approach to the Boys NS, we have put in warning lights but it’s still a dangerous junction, I could think of similar other places in Killaloe”.
Ramps in Ennis by Tierney’s Shop on the Tulla Rd and at Daly’s Cross in Limerick on the approach from O’Briensbridge were referenced by the Killaloe councillor as examples of ramps to slow down the traffic. “The volume of traffic has increased hugely in the area, I don’t want to labour the point but the time for surveys and talking about it are done, I would like to see action. I would look at hopefully this being done in the very short-term,” he added.
Contacting An Garda Síochána before the survey was suggested by Cllr Joe Cooney (FG). “Not alone that area but there are other areas we have that concern, we all know funding is required but we need to explore the options. We’re getting calls on this the whole time, maybe we need to call An Garda Síochána”.
Surveys could show “limited speeding”, Cllr Alan O’Callaghan (FF) cautioned. “We’ve seen them in Kilkishen and estates, are we getting a true reading of what is happening. Could it come back in two months and say only 2% of cars are over the speed limit, I don’t know is it a true reflection. The surveys can paint a different picture to what we see on the ground”.
Clarification was provided by Troy that the surveys are the “standard measure” used by local authorities across the country. “They give a snapshot of what is happening from that period. The perception is traffic is going faster than what’s recorded but the only other measure is if the Guards have been out. We have to rely on the survey, if we detect a small amount of speeding over the average or norm then it is justified. We undertook the survey, minimal speeding was detected and we have now funding to make improvements at the Benson factory”.
Timing of the surveys is “critical”, Cllr O’Brien stressed. “Quite a number of young children under the age of 12 go to school on their own with their siblings, they are the most vulnerable, we need to get this on,” he said.
Again offering clarification, the senior engineer explained, “the speed surveys are undertaken for three to four days over a twenty four hour period, it picks up all speeds in both directions”.