AN East Clare school has called for new traffic calming measures to make it safer for children to cross a very busy regional road.
Raheen Wood Community National School principal, Alan Tuohy said the new pedestrian walkway from Ogonnelloe to Tuamgraney has made the whole area around the school more accessible.
He pointed out, however, that it was difficult for children and parents to cross the regional road outside the school, which has an 80kph speed limit.
He has called on Clare County Council to reduce the speed limit from 80 to 50 kilometres per hour for 500 metres and introduce a new pedestrian crossing for health and safety reasons.
“Any school should have a 50 kph speed limit outside the school grounds. It was an oversight when the new greenway was being designed that this speed limit reduction didn’t take place,” said Mr Tuohy.
“The new greenway is brilliant but if parents want to take their children out of the school, they have to take them across a very busy road.
“If a parent and their 12-year-old child wants to cross the road outside the school, it is not unreasonable to have a pedestrian crossing to make it much safer.
“It is not possible to have a pedestrian crossing on an 80kph route, it would have to be reduced down to 50 kph with plenty of associated signage.”
He said a new pedestrian crossing would also facilitate a safe access from the school to Tuamgraney and Scariff.
He proposed the speed limit reduction could replicate what is already in place near Clooney Stores where the 80 kph speed limit is reduced to 50 kph for a small stretch of the Ennis to Killaloe Road.
The school is also located near an industrial unit and tyre centre, which would also benefit from a pedestrian crossing.
Killaloe Municipal District chairman, Councillor Pat Hayes, recalled he had previously tabled a motion about this issue before the construction of the new footpath at the other side of the road from the school.
“The circumstances have changed following the provision of the new footpath, which merits a fresh look at this proposal. Safety measures need to be put in place to facilitate anyone who wants to walk to and from the school,” said Councillor Hayes.
“There is strong merit for slowing traffic in this area, as there is also an industrial unit in the locality. There is a pedestrian crossing coming Clooney. I fully support this proposal on this busy road.
“Ogonnelloe National School also has similar issues concerning safety for pedestrians and needs measures to control traffic speed.”
Raheen Wood Community National School, established in 2008, is a co-educational, multi-denominational primary school.
Prior to receiving provisional state recognition as a national school, Raheen Wood School was the founding Steiner Waldorf School in Ireland, established in 1986.
Now, as a Steiner Community National School offering the national curriculum, it provides a distinctive education, offering an inspirational, rigorous and nourishing educational experience for children from Junior Infants, right through to Sixth Class.
Located just outside the East Clare village of Tuamgraney, the school is nestled between the trees of our four acre woodland site. In addition to local families, many families have relocated to the area to send their children to Raheen Wood School. Community spirit is central to school life and the festivals celebrated in school bring everyone together.
In response to Clare Champion queries, Clare County Council states,”‘This location will be placed on file for consideration at the next national speed limit review for Clare. In the interim an examination of the location will be carried out to assess if specific safety measures are warranted and this assessment will include a review of accident data at the location. If the location meets the criteria for a Road Safety Scheme or other intervention, then this will be subject to a Department of Transport funding allocation.’
by Dan Danaher