School, parents in bid to ensure road safety

by Gazette Reporter
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A series of essential traffic measures is being considered to ensure a safer road environment for children attending St Mochta’s National School.
A number of safety issues surrounds the parking of cars and heavy traffic at the school, which is located on the junction of the Porterstown Road and Clonsilla Road.
Several incidents involving cars have been reported, including one when a parked car rolled back and bumped a child; however, no one was injured.
The school’s parents association is organising a petition seeking support from gardai on the on-going traffic problems.
They area also demanding that the safety of children and pedestrians is prioritised and that Fingal County Council (FCC) instal a fully-lighted pelican pedestrian crossing, bollards along the footpath at Porterstown Road, rumble strips to indicate the need to slow down and the repainting of the road markings that indicate the school clear zone.
In a report, the council said it intends to install bollards along the footpath to channel children towards the two uncontrolled crossing points and will also serve to stop motorists parking on the footpath. The report went on to say that rumble strips are not recommended for residential areas because of the noise they generate.
The school has three school wardens across all the roads leading to St Mochta’s and the council said they will examine the demand for signalled crossing outside school times.
Each measure is subject to funding, however. A spokesperson said the installation of bollards and the widening of a narrow footpath “are reasonably low cost and feasible” in the short term.
Fingal also want to seek discussions with local gardai about parking enforcement: “A greater presence would help to encourage a more responsible attitude from the parents,” a FCC spokesperson said.
Commenting on the situation, Castleknock councillor Matt Waine (SP) said that parking and pick-up is a “major problem” for schools across Fingal, but that this site is the worst case in Dublin 15.
He asked whether there was scope for tackling the situation during St Mochta’s proposed new school building at the site and urged that a meeting with Blanchardstown gardai happens soon to discuss the “seriousness of the issue.”
Labour councillor Peggy Hamill said that the traffic issues have been a difficulty for a long time: “One would imagine that it would be on every parent’s mind to park properly and not to obstruct.
“The idea that a car which was parked actually rolled and bumped into a child, I just can’t understand it… Luckily no one was hurt but that sort of behaviour is uncalled for. I think the onus is on all of us…to put in place measures to prevent a serious accident occurring and make the lives of school children safe,” Cllr Hamill added.

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