Childrens Safety Needs To Be Priority In Ringaskiddy
Writes Leo McMahon
‘It’s not okay for a child wanting to cross a road without protection,’ said Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind) at the recent meeting of Cork County Council’s Carrigaline-Ballincollig Municipal District, which unanimously supported her motion calling for a controlled pedestrian crossing next to Ringaskiddy playground.
At present there is an uncontrolled crossing with a central traffic island on the N28, which serves the Naval Base, maritime college, the crematorium and several industries.
While delighted to see that a pedestrian count was carried I’m concerned that there wasn’t a vehicular one, which was critical, so the information is incomplete’, said Cllr D’Alton who has submitted three previous motions on the issue.
‘There may be only two children wanting to cross that road in an entire day but they live in the village and if they’re trying to do when a shift ends at a factory or at the nearby Naval base or when funeral traffic is going to the crematorium, they have to wait a long time.’
Most children resided across the road from the playground and she noted that pedestrian counts were not carried out after 5pm when the amenity is at its busiest.
‘Traffic management guidelines issued by the Government reference documents which advise that; ‘in the climate of encouraging walking as part of sustainable transport, justification for pedestrian facilities tends to be made more in terms of the needs of pedestrians, in particular the delays and difficulties experienced in crossing a road’. This ethos was not reflected in the case of Ringaskiddy, she claimed.
‘It is especially sad that a safe pedestrian crossing on an uncontrolled crossing already ducted for lights to serve a playground on a national road through a village in one of the biggest industrial estates in the country has to be fought for like this. The Ringaskiddy community gives so much to the rest of the county in terms of business and employment. The least that could be returned to it is safety for its vulnerable pedestrians as they attempt to cross the road’, Cllr D’Alton added.
Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) in seconding, said it was an issue raised at a meeting held with residents and he himself had a motion about it previously.
He said he found the resistance of Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII) on the request inexplicable. ‘You don’t need to do counts. To anybody it’s unsafe for a child or elderly person to cross that road safely at any time. It’s a heavily trafficked road and virtually impossible cross at a shift change.
‘When you think of what Ringaaskiddy has had to put up with over the years in terms of heavy traffic going through the village, if this can request can’t be met, it’s a damning indictment on the TII’, Cllr McGrath added.
Senior executive engineer Ms. Madeleine Healy said she could ask on behalf of the MD for the traffic counts from the TII and design office. It was agreed the TII be written to again.