City, town and county councils around Ireland should be soon able to set speed limits to 20km/h in built-up areas, the Department of Transport confirmed yesterday. The limit will likely be restricted to use on local residential streets.
The limit is one part of a campaign by Jake’s Legacy, set up by the family of Jake Brennan after the six-year-old was knocked down by a driver outside his home in a Kilkenny housing estate.
The department said: “The new 20km/h speed limit will be in the form of an optional ‘special speed limit.’ There is a default speed limit of 50km/h in built-up areas, but local authorities have the option of applying special speed limit of 40km/h or 30km/h where they believe it is appropriate. They will now also have the further option of a 20km/h limit.”
It added: “It will be up to local authorities to apply the limits they believe are appropriate on individual roads in built-up areas within their territory. They will take account of factors such as width and straightness of roads, visibility, density of habitation, and traffic volume. It has long been policy that these decisions should be in the hands of local authorities, who are best-placed to know what is appropriate to specific roads in their area, and the Department believes that this is the correct approach.”