16 October 2014

Government push for local speed limit reviews “a welcome opportunity” - Fitzgerald

-    Government issues circular to local authorities requiring examination of speed limits in residential areas and housing estates
-    National review will determine if appropriate speed limits are in place, especially where children are at play

Local TD Frances Fitzgerald, Minister for Justice & Equality, said that this week’s Government’s circular requiring Local Authorities to examine speed limits in residential areas is a “welcome opportunity for local authorities, residents and politicians to take a fresh, comprehensive look at community needs”.

 She said:

“The Government this week issued a circular requiring Local Authorities to examine speed limits in residential areas and housing estates to improve road safety for cyclists and pedestrians, especially children.

“The circular sets out the results of a recent survey carried out by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the aim of which was to determine the use of traffic calming measures, such as speed ramps, and reduced speed limits of 30km/h in residential areas. It also reiterates existing policy in the area and requires Local Authorities to undertake a review of the current situation to determine whether or not appropriate speed limits are in place.

“I echo the sentiments of my colleague, Minister for Transport Paschal Donohoe, that the increased use of a 30km/h speed limit in residential areas will help mitigate against the dangers posed to cyclists and pedestrians, especially children at play.  In attempting to deal with excessive speeding in residential areas, a process for Local Authorities is being proposed. It includes:

·         Consultation with local residents to determine if they believe speed limits are too high in their area;
·         Bye-laws for the new 30 km/h limits for the selected estates and zones to be adopted where needed;
·         The use of a combination 30 km/h speed limit sign in conjunction with a yellow warning sign showing ‘children at play’ at the entry to a housing estate;
·         Other traffic calming measures, including the use of ramps, to be considered;
·         Monitoring of the new speed limits to ensure that the measures put in place are effective.

 “I will work closely with residents and the Council to ensure that this timely initiative leads to real improvements in our area,” Minister Fitzgerald concluded.