By Dan Walsh at Wells House and Gardens
Wexford County Council has circulated a draft document amongst members about its Traffic Calming Policy and it was presented to members of Gorey Kilmuckridge Municipal District Council at the November meeting held at Wells House and Gardens.
The document claims that there has been an increasing demand for traffic calming measures to be introduced in new and existing housing estates, access roads and distributor roads in towns and villages across Co. Wexford.
It is acknowledged that a major contributing factor in recorded road collisions is speed and vehicles that exceed the safe speed limit affect the quality of life for residents and pedestrians that use the road network.
The elephant on the roadway is individual speed ramps and the Traffic Management Guidelines emphasise that vertical deflections (ramps, speed cushions and tables) should only be used as a last resort and that all other measures should be considered first.
It has emerged that ramps or rumble strips contain unwelcome side effects such as additional noise, vehicle damage, possible personal injury and the National Ambulance Service have issues while carrying patients, especially those with spinal injuries. The Fire Service are also concerned that ramps delay response times to emergency situations.
The draft document will come before all municipal districts before it is eventually adopted at a full meeting of Wexford County Council, but at the Gorey Kilmuckridge discussion the main talking points appeared to be the ramps and speed reduction in housing estates.
Cllr Anthony Donohoe told the meeting he was “not fond of ramps” and felt the council should look at other traffic calming measures as a priority.
Cllr Joe Sullivan said he was no fan of ramps; “In fact, I hate the sight of them,” but added he was in favour of higher visibility and more signage. And he questioned “parental behaviour outside schools.”
David Codd, Road Safety Officer with Wexford County Council replied that “ramps is a contentious issue and the last thing to be considered on most roads. He said ramps are allowed in housing estates and considered a speed reduction to 30kph.
Cllr Mary Farrell was concerned about the situation outside schools during drop off and collection times. “Road signage doesn’t work.”
Cllr Pip Breen stated that speeding is a legal issue; “it is breaking the law”. He felt the document was fair and ramps should only be used as a last resort. Referring to traffic calming outside schools, he concluded; “You can’t legislate for people who ignore and break the law.”
Cllr Oliver Walsh, who proposed the adoption of the document, said “it is very important to have a document like this” and Cllr Pip Breen seconded.