*Cllr Liam Grant. Photograph: Myriam Riand.
A STANDARD speed limit of 30km outside all schools in West and North Clare has been sought.
By Adam Maloney
In a proposal before this month’s meeting of the West Clare Municipal District, Cllr Liam Grant (GP) asked for the introduction of a “30km periodic speed limits outside all schools in the MD like they have done in Wicklow County Council. I would be happy to support bye laws that would allow for this”.
Senior executive engineer in the transportation department of the Council, Anne O’Sullivan explained, “Wicklow County Council introduced periodic special speed limits 20kph, 30kph & 50kph in 2023. These were introduced as part of a full speed limit review for the county which commenced in January 2021. This review was carried out in accordance with ‘Guidelines for Setting and Managing Speed Limits in Ireland 2015’ issued by the Department of Transport Tourism and Sport for the application of speed limits in Ireland”. \
She continued, “A review of the speed limit process has been carried out by the Department of Transport and the resulting “ Speed Limit Review Report “ published in September 2023 has made recommendations that will impact the setting and application of speed limits. Consequently the initiation of any such speed limit review is considered premature until such a time as the Department of Transport issues new guidance documents on the application and setting of speed limits and legislation is enacted. Your request for the introduction of periodic speed limits at all schools will be considered as part of the next speed limit review”.
Site assessments are concluding for the introduction of periodic speed limits at three school locations on the national route network in Clare , the N67 at Rineen NS , the N67 at New Quay NS and the N68 Caherea NS.
Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Grant outlined, “I put forward this motion as people have been saying that the speed limits not appropriate, and they are right”. He added, “I would love to say we could change speed limits. I understand the response of the new guidelines and legislation, but I guess the question is when is it going to be active, I’m a bit worried that we are waiting a while”.
Changes need to be made to aid communities, the Lahinch representative stressed. “It’s something up to ourselves that we’ve to deal with as councillors to try and change these speed limits. Why do we wait? we need to support our villages. And for me I’m just trying to do my best as a public representative to help to community and get these concerns and changes over the line”.
Swift action will need to be visible, Cllr Ian Lynch (IND) believed. “This has been something we’ve all being calling for; we’ve had a relative number of meetings on this. Once national guidelines hit running, it’s something we need to try and use and as an MD we need to roll this out as a priority then we ask how can we get it done”.
Urgency needs to become visible, said Cllr Joe Garrihy (FG). “The North Clare community Group have been very active on this. I think it’s fair to say that they are looking for urgency. And like Cllr Grant, I think we are all very eager to see that these opportunities that are asked, be pushed to be delivered soon rather than later”. Support was also voiced by Cllr Joe Killeen (FF).
Director of Services, Leonard Cleary told the meeting, “I acknowledge the importance of having the current speed limits around schools, they’re very much in our minds and in the MD. We are committed on following through on this. There is a comprehensive reply from the Roads Department but I suppose the request from the elected members is that we will work locally within the MD especially in those specific school locations. This is something important and valid in this MD”.
Lahinch’s Grant was not fully satisfied with no knowledge of a date of action but Cleary replied, “We don’t have a date after the national reply, but in the meantime, we’ll progress on the local sides as much as we can”.