TRAFFIC congestion around schools in the Castleknock ward is such a big problem that a number of politicians in the area have voiced their concerns.
Speaking outside St Mochta’s National School, Green Party Cllr elect Roderic O’Gorman called on Fingal County Council to adopt a safe routes to school strategy as part of its next development plan, to tackle the main obstacles that parents face on a daily basis in getting their children to and from school.
He said he believed the Fingal County Development Plan should be amended to include the strategy, which would: “create a safe routes to school committee for each school, bringing together parents, teachers, gardai and the council.
“This will examine any traffic or other dangers to children and parents as they go to and from school.
“Many parents would like to see their kids walk or cycle to school, but they feel there are too many obstacles in the way of this.
“A good example is the footpath along the Porterstown Road opposite St Mochta’s NS. This footpath is used daily by hundreds of parents and children as they make their way to the school.
“However, it is severely overgrown and makes access to the school, particularly for parents with buggies, very difficult.
“Traffic management is one of the basic functions of the council. It could do much more to ensure a free flow of traffic during the ‘school-run’ period, and make it safer for parents to leave their cars behind.”
FF Councillor-elect Jack Chambers has also raised the issue saying the problem has many residents feeling very frustrated.
He said Castleknock Community College and St Patrick’s National School were particularly affected, and he believed proper structure needed to be put in place to create accountability.
A spokesperson for Fingal County Council said: “The current Fingal Development Plan (2011-2017) has specific policies relating to safe travel to school.” These include objectives to support walking as a significant mode of transport and support for walking buses where feasible and practicable, the spokesperson said.
The council works to promote traffic management in the vicinity of schools to reduce unnecessary traffic congestion. “The formal review of the new Fingal Development Plan, which can include further discussion on getting safely to and from school, is due to start on March 20, 2015,” the spokesperson added.