Review of schools’
traffic to be carried out

Council officials and gardai are to carry out a joint report on traffic congestion affecting two Longford town schools over the coming days, a Joint Policing Committee meeting (JPC) has heard.

Council officials and gardai are to carry out a joint report on traffic congestion affecting two Longford town schools over the coming days, a Joint Policing Committee meeting (JPC) has heard.

Officers from Longford Garda Station’s Traffic Corps will prepare the document alongside engineers from both the Town and County Councils concerning both St Joseph’s National School and St Mel’s College.

The decision came following a plea made by Cllr Mae Sexton into rising traffic levels outside St Joseph’s NS along Longford town’s Dublin Rd.

She claimed several constituents had contacted her in recent weeks, complaining about the practices used by some motorists when parking their cars outside the school.

“I have monitored it myself,” she said simply. “Outside the school there is not just double parking at peak times, there is triple parking. The dangers I see are children who are running from the path to meet a parent who is the third parked vehicle. I think it has got an awful lot worse. Something has to be done because there was a fatality on that road a number of years ago when traffic problems weren’t nearly as bad.”

A long time supporter of the need to maintain a full-time lollipop man outside the school, Cllr Michael Connellan urged council bosses to open up negotiations with members from St Joseph’s Board of Management.

Cllrs Peggy Nolan and Tony Flaherty backed up those sentiments as the Fianna Fail politician opted to make a similar case for road users looking to access nearby St Mel’s College.

Conceding the dilemmas confronting both schools was a “very thorny issue,” Cllr Flaherty bemoaned the lack of co-operation coming from educational professionals.

“It’s the very same at the back of St Mel’s College. Nothing has been done there either and it’s getting worse by the day. That road is a lot narrower too. There could be up to 40 cars on any one particular day on that bend into Connolly Crescent. It’s deadly, absolutely deadly. We have written to the college asking them to let them park inside the back gate of the college and I can’t understand why that can’t be done,” he said.

Not to be outdone, Cllr Paul Connell took an even sterner view, hitting out at the lack of progress that had been made over the past decade-and-a-half.

“I think if you are giving education, you must be providing car parking. We have a typical example at St Mel’s Road where there is a wall about 10 ft high that is built there and yet for the last 10 or 15 years I have been asking the principal of the college and not one inch would they give. All we wanted was 3 ft to knock the wall and widen St Mel’s Road to put in a new footpath for the children. Do you think they would give it? No,” he groaned.

Councillors and representatives from the local authority’s executive are expected to discuss the findings of the report at a meeting later this month.