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Belgooly and Bandon Welcome New Safe Routes to School

Cork County Council has officially launched two new “School Zones” at Scoil Mhuire na nGrást, Belgooly and Gaelscoil Dhroichead na Banndan. The initiative has transformed the front of school areas, providing colourful and child-friendly integrated road designs to enhance safety and accessibility for students, parents, staff and the community.

Greater congregation space has been created for children and their families in the areas to the front of both schools, including new dedicated seating areas. Artwork has been installed on the widened pathways and pencil bollards have been put in place to create child friendly and colourful spaces. The front of both school areas now prioritises the safety of those who walk, cycle or scoot to school.

Welcoming the latest School Zones, Mayor of the County of Cork, Cllr Frank O’Flynn said, “Not only is it important for our children to be able to get to school safely, but it’s also important for our children to be physically active in an enjoyable environment. Encouraging our children to walk, cycle, or scoot, to and from school, boosts both their physical and mental health. I hope the new Safe Route to School Zones will greatly benefit the communities of Bandon and Belgooly. Well done to all involved.”

Scoil Mhuire na nGrást, Belgooly National School, with 358 students and 34 staff, has a long tradition of promoting active travel, with students regularly cycling to school. The school took part in the recent "Cycle to School Event" organized by Cork County Council's Sustainable Travel Team and participates in regular ‘Walk on Wednesdays’ (WOW) to encourage walking and scooting to school. 

Diarmuid Hennessy, School Principal Scoil Mhuire na nGrást, Belgooly, said “As an active and Green School, improved and safe access for the ever-increasing number of pupils walking, cycling and availing of school transport to Scoil Mhuire na nGrást is a welcome feature of the new SRTS infrastructure. In addition, the school has so many natural and environmental learning opportunities on its doorstep and the new measures assist greatly with availing of The Outdoor Classroom.  The school community is very grateful to the many individuals, groups and organisations who continue to support the school’s endeavours in these important areas for the pupils.”

In Belgooly, biodiversity and sustainability are key elements of the design and are reflected in the choice of planting, while the inclusion of raingardens is an example of the successful use of nature-based drainage. Works have also been undertaken to provide a footpath along the L7226, towards Belgooly village. This has included reducing the carriageway width which has reduced traffic speed via traffic calming measures. Pedestrian crossings have also been provided. 

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