A PEDESTRIAN crossing outside a Cork City school has been labelled as “an accident waiting to happen” by primary school principal Maura O’Riordan.
She has appealed for help from the local authority to alleviate fears of an incident involving her students from Cork Educate Together NS on Grattan St.
Ms O’Riordan, along with staff and students, is currently seeking a school warden due to the dangers posed by the substantial volume of traffic in the vicinity of their school, with some drivers going straight through the pedestrian crossing located outside their school.
They have been informed by Cork City Council, however, that the local authority have a fixed number of school wardens and they have already been deployed to Cork schools.
Ms O’Riordan said the situation is “extremely dangerous” for their students and has questioned if the allocation of wardens is ever reviewed.
“The layout of Grattan St has changed in recent years. We were involved in the consultation with regards to the new layout and they gave us a pedestrian crossing, which has made us more unsafe,” Ms O’Riordan said.
“There is an assumption of safety.
“Every single day we have incidents where vehicles are simply going through the pedestrian crossing,” she said.
Ms O’Riordan, who commenced her duties as a principal of the national school in November 2020, said parents and teachers are very worried for the safety of the 205 enrolled students.
“It is an accident waiting to happen.
“The issue is that one lane is completely blocked. We then have people straddling the pedestrian crossing,” she explained.
“It is deadly dangerous. It is getting worse. We are located on a very busy street in Cork City. We need this issue to be solved.
“It is only in recent years it was made into a one-way street, which is actually the main artery from north to south.
“All the main traffic that is being funnelled from north to south is coming down Grattan St.
“It is unbelievable that schools in industrial estates have school wardens and this main thoroughfare doesn’t,” Ms O’Riordan said.
“We have huge issues with the lights on the pedestrian crossing, which are off more than they are on,” she said.
“We are also lacking infrastructure.
“There is no sign or visibility saying there is a school ahead. That is down to funding,” she added.
The primary school principal wants Cork City Council to act on this issue to ensure her students are safe as they travel to and from school each day.
She is also seeking clarity from council officials on how the allocation of school wardens occurs and if the situation is ever reviewed.
“The school has never had a school warden. We have been pursuing one for the past 18 months through the correct channels. We got confirmation that there is a specific quota for school traffic wardens in Cork City and they have all been allocated.
“How are school wardens allocated? Is the situation ever reviewed? How long do we have to wait?
“I know a number of schools in Cork City that are in housing estates that have school wardens. We are appealing to the city council to review this.
“It is not enough to tell us they have a quota and it has been reached. There has to be some sense of need.
“I can’t imagine many schools in the city with as great a need as our school at the moment,” she added.
A spokesperson for Cork City Council told The Echo: “Cork City Council has a fixed number of school warden positions, and all are currently assigned to schools within the city.
“Resources are not currently available to recruit additional school wardens.
“Schools who wish to have consideration given to their need for a school warden can apply to the city council and their request will be considered should funding become available.”