Traffic calming measures which parents at Bellurgan school have been campaigning for have been included in a submission for funding by Louth County Council to the Department of Transport, it has been revealed.
The news came during an interaction in Leinster House between Sinn Féin TD Ruairí Ó Murchú and Transport Minister Eamon Ryan, who also revealed that the council is working on plans to improve road safety at Bush Post Primary School.
Deputy Ó Murchú raised the Bellurgan school issue in an oral question to the Minister. The Louth TD said: ‘These parents have been campaigning for a considerable time for traffic calming measures.
‘There has been back and forth with many elected representatives, in particular, Councillor Antóin Watters, with the local authority and others. We have not been able to deliver a solution that is necessary.
‘The parents have been out campaigning. I believe the local authority needs to be more proactive on this issue. We will have to look at reviewing the speed limits.
‘Beyond that, there probably needs to be an overall review of that entire stretch of road out to the Cooley Peninsula from Dundalk on the R173, which the Minister might know’.
In response, Minister Ryan said: ‘I understand that Louth County Council has included traffic calming measures at Bellurgan National School in its 2023 safety improvement programme application.
‘The 2023 allocations will be decided following consideration of applications by the Department and the allocations will be notified early next year’.
And Minister Ryan said he knew the ‘character of the road’ and sees ‘the need for measures to be taken’.
He said: ‘Specifically on Bellurgan School, I understand that Louth County Council is seeking funding for the provision of traffic calming measures under the safety improvement programme for the school as part of its 2023 application. It will be considered for funding. Local authorities are asked to list proposed projects in order of priority on their applications.
‘Louth County Council’s safety improvement application was received on 26 October. Bellurgan traffic calming was listed among the 24 measures included. My Department’s engineering inspectorate will review the overall application before recommendations on allocations are made’.
On the Bush PP school issue, Deputy Ó Murchú said: ‘Schools in the area are thriving and we must ensure they are safe places for parents, children and all others.
‘I know that Cllr. Watters attended a recent meeting in respect of Bush Post Primary. The issue there relates to traffic calming and safety measures. We need to ensure we can deliver a solution for these parents and children’.
Minister Ryan gave an update on the situation with Bush PP. He said: ‘I understand that Louth County Council has indicated that redevelopment is planned for the Bush School.
‘The council is awaiting clarity on the detail of the public road interface. It will be a matter for the council to seek funding under the appropriate grant programme in that regard, should it wish to do so.
‘It seems that the right thing to do would be to try to manage the traffic issue when the school is being redeveloped.
‘Traffic is an issue on that entire road. It is a wide road on which vehicles travel at high speed. The volumes of traffic are increasing. Change is needed’.