School Street aimed at making children safer deferred due to “opposition” from councillors

To the surprise and annoyance of many parents, plastic coverings were blocking the school street signs in Tramore, Co Waterford, today when children were going back to school after the summer holidays.

School Street measures include making streets safer in front of schools by restricting car access at school dropoff and collection times — this had been in place for the full 2022/2023 academic year, but has now been at least deferred for this year due to what the council has called opposition from a number of councillors and local residents.

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A Waterford City and County Council spokesperson said: “The implementation of the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) Delivery Plan has been deferred due to opposition from a number of elected representatives and some members of the general public.”

They added: “A meeting of the Active Travel team and the elected representatives of the Metropolitan District is scheduled to take place on Friday, September 1st.”

Cllr Cristíona Kiely (Green Party) said yesterday: “When is a School Street not a School Street? Answer: When some councillors want the road reopened to traffic and Waterford Council aren’t saying no. Black plastic covers the School Street signs in Tramore pending another meeting with councillors and the council executive on the future of this road safety project.”

She said: “When my 7-year-old son goes back to school tomorrow morning with 410 other kids, this stretch of road outside his school will be more dangerous than it was in June — not to mention the air quality. I’ll continue to fight for road safety in Tramore, I hope more Councillors join me.”

“The safety of children getting to and from their schools everywhere has to be a priority for all Councillors in all Local Authorities — not just a few as is the case in Waterford. Councillors need to show leadership – especially when there’s pushback. They need to be brave,” said Cllr Kiely.

She said that because of this delay, other School Streets will be held up and

Cllr Kiely added: “Councillors should step up and do the right thing — prioritise the safety of children & leave populism and politics outside the door.”

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