Green candidate campaigns for safe routes to school

We need cycle lanes, safe footpaths and pedestrian crossings

Local Green Party candidate Trish Forde-Brennan is campaigning for safer routes to school. The initiative is part of a national campaign by the Green Party to help children get to school in the safest and healthiest way possible.

Trish said: “Every day, hundreds of children in Castletroy and all the villages and towns in County Limerick are driven to school by their parents, because it’s not safe for them to walk or cycle to school. I aim to change that, and if elected as the Green representative for the CastIeconnell area I will ensure that our footpaths, pedestrian crossings and cycle lanes are upgraded and made safe, so that parents are happy to let their children walk or cycle to school every day.”

Trish says that these improvements will reduce existing traffic levels and improve road safety. “We all see the dramatic fall-off in traffic during the school holidays and if we managed to get our children onto buses or walking or cycling, we could see this become a permanent drop. Less traffic means it’s also safer to walk or cycle, so it’s a beneficial circle.”

Trish says that a focussed co-ordinated approach is now needed. “I am working to bring that about,” she said. I have already contacted Limerick County Council and the developer on Monaleen Road about making it safer to walk to the Gaelscoil in Castletroy, but we need a campaign all across County Limerick to make the roads safer for ALL OUR CHILDREN.

Ms Forde Brennan would like parents in schools throughout the county to contact her with details of danger black spots near schools and promises to do everything within her power to get these sorted as a priority. Research shows that children who walk or cycle to school are healthier, more alert and more likely to achieve academically. Under the National Cycle Policy Framework the Government plans to have 160,000 cycling to work every day. 140,000 children will be targeted nationwide in 2009 for safe cycling training under the same scheme.

If elected, Trish Forde Brennan will:

  • Carry out a safety audit to identify areas where safety improvements can be made
  • Campaign to have a 30km per hour zone around all primary schools
  • Introduce traffic calming measures around local schools wherever they are needed.
  • Seek to establish pedestrian islands to provide a safe place for school children to wait when crossing certain roads
  • Ensure zebra crossings are in place on busier roads
  • Seek to extend footways and footpaths, particularly in rural areas
  • Ensure existing footpaths are upgraded and maintained, with traffic lights and street lights in proper working order