Suburbia 'lockdown' with 30km speed limit
A pilot scheme on speed limits in areas surrounding schools in Cork city could result in a lockdown of surburbia if it persists on a wider basis, say councillors.
The scheme, already in effect at several schools and their areas in the city, imposes a 30 km speed limit in the 500 metre areas surrounding the school between the hours of 8am to 6pm every weekday.
“Nothing has been done to improve the notification of the scheme to the general public,” said Cllr Des Cahill (FG).
“There is no criteria to suggest what is a success, and if it is a success somehow, then all of suburbia will blanketed by the 30 km rule. The fact is if the Gardaí were more effective at enforcing the 50 km speed limit then there would be no need for the 30 km.”
The method of measuring success and notifying the public was also criticised by incoming Lord Mayor, Cllr John Buttimer.
"I would question the validity of the pilot project and the method of notifying the general public,” said Cllr Buttimer.
“If it becomes widespread then the entire suburbia of Cork will be on lockdown, as well as the city. It would become impossible."
Labour Cllr Michael O’Connell rejected the assertions that the scheme was not well notified, stating that it had been “a success in our area.”
“We were notified throughout the entire process and it has proved to be a major success for schools and areas in my areas."
City Manager Tim Lucey insisted the scheme had been suspended from erecting any further signs or areas, which would have a negative consequence on the outcome of the results. However he said the notification procedure had been followed through local press public submission consultations.
The scheme currently encompasses six schools in Bishopstown, Mahon, North Monastery Road, Beaumont, the Glen and Blarney Road under the Sustainable Mobility Learning and Experiences (SMILES) programme where the schools undertook to adopt new transport alternatives.
Councillors also heavily criticised the National Roads Authority (NRA) for their presentation to members last week as “disrespectful.”
The NRA met with members of the Roads and Transport Committee on the future operations of the Jack Lynch Tunnel.
“Why the NRA came down at all is beyond me,” said Labour Cllr Denis O’Flynn.
“No-one could response to their presentation as there was nothing in it. The NRA should come clean to the Manager and the City and admit they want to toll it and hand over to a private company. They couldn’t even tell us how much money they would save. What’s the point of doing a SWOT analysis if you don’t have any figures?”
Cllr O’Flynn’s comments were also echoed by his party colleague, Cllr Ger Gibbons, who admitted he was “baffled” by the presentation.
“They stopped the presentation after three minutes and gave no information. They had no notes, it was very much on a whim. I would call on the Lord Mayor to write to the Minister for Transport and ask him to reverse the decision.”
This request was agreed by the council while City Manager Tim Lucey acknowledged they were still engaging with the NRA on a continuing basis.