Speeding concerns in Longford throw focus on child safety

Ardnacassa Avenue. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie

Ardnacassa Avenue. Photo: Michelle Ghee. www.gphotos.ie


Council bosses have rejected pleas to carry out a study of speed ramp requirements in Longford housing estates because of staff shortages.

Members from Longford Co Council’s executive turned down the request made by Cllr Gerry Warnock at last week’s Municipal District meeting, citing resource issues as the main overriding reason.

Cllr Warnock asked for the review on foot of concerns he had received from local constituents over speeding and child safety concerns.

“I’m sure, no more than anyone else, it was one of the top five issues heading into the local elections,” he said.

“It is evident that there are problems with speeding within estates and residents have issues regarding child safety.

“The main issue is child safety and parents are anxious to try and get some movement on this.”

Cllr Warnock said he was well aware of the financial implications being asked of the council.

There were, he said, other more cost effective alternatives like rumble strips and other traffic calming measures, possibilities he asked to be explored.

Fianna Fail’s Padraig Loughrey was quick to support Cllr Warnock’s request before asking whether the council had a specific policy in place dealing with the broader topic of speed ramps within residential areas.

There were more explicit calls too, most notably from Cllr John Browne (FG).

He highlighted the deteriorating appearance of speed ramps on the approach to the Government’s Department of Social Protection offices in Ardnacassa.

“The speed bumps down there are in a very bad condition.

“People are driving in between them and even around them,” he claimed.

Town engineer Brian McNeela accepted the doubts put forward by Cllr Browne and vowed to tackle the speed ramp issue in and around Ardnacassa once funding becomes available.

But any designs councillors may have had in terms of identifying other areas which may be in need of traffic calming solutions were were soon shot down.

Ciaran Murphy, on behalf of Longford Co Council, said introducing ramps into individual estates was not as simple as it would first appear.

Various agencies, like the HSE and emergency services would have to be acceptive while public lighting and drainage issues were other factors to consider.

Yet it was Mr Murphy’s insistence that the council was simply not in a position to carry out a study of speed ramp requirements, which effectively put paid to the discussion.

“The roads section has a limited number of staff. It doesn’t have the manpower at present to do what is being requested,” he said.




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