Safe zone urged outside city centre primary school

Maura O’Riordan, principal of the Cork Educate Together NS on Grattan Street, said that without a school traffic warden, it might be “only a matter of time before something terrible happens”.
Safe zone urged outside city centre primary school

Cork Educate Together NS, Grattan Street- school children at the dangerous crossing outside the school. Pic: Larry Cummins

A GREEN Party City Councillor has called for the establishment of a safe school zone outside a Cork City centre primary school, after the school’s principal expressed fears for children’s safety.

Councillor Dan Boyle of the Green Party told The Echo he was calling for the establishment of a safe school zone outside the Cork Educate Together NS on Grattan Street.

“A safe school zone offers a comprehensive approach to making the area safer, and for key periods of the day, when children are going to school and when they’re leaving school, traffic and parking are restricted in the area, and you have a warden and whatever infrastructure is necessary to make the area safer,” Mr Boyle said.

Councillor Boyle’s remarks come after Maura O’Riordan, principal of the Cork Educate Together NS on Grattan Street, said that without a school traffic warden, it might be “only a matter of time before something terrible happens”.

Grattan Street has two one-way lanes outside the school, and Ms O’Riordan said the issue is that the right-hand lane tends to have a backlog of traffic, while the left-hand lane tends to be freer flowing.

Councillor Boyle said he had proposed two motions to Cork City Council last autumn, one to extend the school warden scheme, which he said remains frozen, and one was specifically to deal with the situation on Grattan Street.

“The roll-out of safe school zones in Cork has been slower than in the rest of the country, and it is something I want to see across the city, and certainly Grattan Street and Cork Educate Together NS should be the priority in terms of the introduction of a safe school zone,” Councillor Boyle said.

An assessment of Grattan Street, carried out for Cork City Council by the director of services at the Roads and Environment Operations Directorate in November, recommended a number of short-term measures, costing an estimated €12,000.

These recommendations included the removal of a set-down area outside the school and the erection of bollards to prevent cars from parking by the zebra crossing, the replacement of the current flashing amber lights with brighter LED lights, and the repainting of the zebra crossing.

The set-down area was removed last week, with bollards put in place.

The report also contained a number of long-term recommendations, including the building-out of the pavement and the installation of a raised zebra crossing.

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