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Councillors call for traffic calming at Clonmoney NS ‘before there is a fatality’

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Elected representatives have warned that traffic calming measures are needed in the environs of Clonmoney NS “before there is a fatality”.

Both Cllr Pat McMahon (FF) and Cllr PJ Ryan (IND) tabled motions to the March meeting of the Shannon Municipal District calling for the installation of traffic calming measures by the school. Cllr McMahon claimed there was “dangerous driving” from a minority of motorists and sought a visible Garda presence while Cllr Ryan believed the present situation was “ineffective”.

A “majority compliance” with the current speed limit of 80km/h was noted in a speed survey carried out on the main approach road to the school. Senior executive engineer, Aidan O’Rourke informed the pair “there are no records of a serious accident on the accident database for the location”. He felt the possibility of some road users exceeding the speed limit was a matter for An Garda Síochána and that it was not eligible to qualify for funding for speed reduction works under the low cost safety scheme.

O’Rourke recommended that the Shannon Municipal District forward “a letter of concern” to the Gardaí requesting speed checking and that it be placed on record for consideration of a reduction in speed limit during the next limit review.

Management at the school are “continuously worried” over the traffic and the speed at which it travels, Cllr McMahon outlined. “It is a growing school, I know the reply says there isn’t a major accident but that is what we are trying to avoid,” the Newmarket-on-Fergus representative highlighted. He said the close proximity of the Wells Church adds to the amount of people converging in the area.

Concerned parents alerted Cllr Ryan to the matter. “There are strips on the road but I don’t think they are good enough to slow down the traffic. The road is being used as a run from Sixmilebridge to the dual carriageway. Parents are greatly afraid there will be a fatality unless the traffic slows down”. He believed speed bumps were the best option for the road and called for works to be carried out “before there is a fatality”.

Cathaoirleach of the Shannon MD, Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) supported the requests and felt the reply from the senior engineer was “quite good”. He noted that the Co-Op on the same road and the amount of weddings in the Wells Church makes it a busy location. Cllr Donna McGettigan (SF) also voiced her backing of the motions.

“Flashing lights are grand, people see them and they stay going. When people see a bump, they automatically slow down whether they are thinking more about the car rather than the kids I don’t know,” Cllr Pat O’Gorman (FF) stated.

With pupils from Sixmilebridge and Shannon also attending the Newmarket-on-Fergus school, Cllr John Crowe (FG) noted that the planned extension “will increase the volume of kids there”. He said all elected representatives have been asked to highlight the matter “over the last couple of years”. “This is going to keep coming up and up,” he cautioned.

Responding to the concerns raised, O’Rourke reiterated the fact that the majority of motorists are complying with the speed limit. “In order to bring it forward to a capital project, we need to have evidence of the speed limit being exceeded, the best way to do that is by bringing down the speed limit”.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and 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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