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‘Consistent traffic chaos’ at schools in Clare

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“Traffic chaos” is consistent when it comes to the beginning and end of the day for schools across the Ennis Municipal District, Cllr Ann Norton has claimed.

She requested the MD to undertake a school specific transport survey which would influence a traffic management plan for the entire area “so as to alleviate congestion around school drop off and collection times”. Cllr Norton described the current back to school situation as “consistent traffic chaos”.

In his response to Norton’s motion at the Ennis MD’s September meeting, senior executive engineer, Eamon O’Dea outlined that they are in contact with principals and the board of management “of most of the primary schools prior to commencement of the school year to co-ordinate the provision of school wardens”. A new mobility plan for the town will be undertaken as part of the Ennis 2040 plan he pointed out, “The provision of alternate means of transport will be part of the plan”.

“It’s September and the joy of kids going back to school, there is a lot of traffic on the roads, we want a safe environment for the primary and secondary schools,” Cllr Norton stated. She acknowledged the engagement with school management teams. In an effort to reduce traffic on roads at certain times schools on the Gort Rd have opted for different starting times, the Barefield councillor commented. “It’s the time of the year that we need to look at ways of helping and supporting schools, the parents and the children”.

Fine Gael’s Johnny Flynn seconded the motion, with his party colleague, Mary Howard also adding her support. “Secondary schools in Ennis seem to be the biggest offenders of dropping the children to the door yet those students have no problem walking up town to get their lunch. A bit of wind or rain did no harm to any of us,” Cllr Howard said.

Cllr Paul Murphy (FG) suggested the amount of books in school bags could be preventing children from facing the elements in the morning. “This morning I felt the weight of my kids schoolbags and they were like two bags of coal. It is only after dawning on me that they walk at lunch because they don’t have to be carrying around the bags”.

Newmarket-on-Fergus native, Páraic McMahon is a freelance journalist and broadcaster currently working for numerous national and local publications including The Clare Echo, The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent, The Irish Times, RTÉ, TheJournal.ie, The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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