AN online petition, directed at Kildare Co Council and highlighting the road safety issues and immediate action needed around Monasterevin schools, has reached almost reached 300 signatures (as of time of writing).
It’s part of a campaign by the newly-formed Monasterevin School Road Safety Action Group, with a paper petition made available at a recent night market attracting at least 150 signatures.
The group was formed following a parents’ meeting in St Evins in October and is borne out of frustration with the lack of change or progress. Member Jacinta Kenna explained that over the last seven years very little, despite many promises, has been done in relation to road safety on Drogheda street.
A number of schools are located on that street and she noted that “potentially there’s over 1,140 children going to school in Monasterevin every single morning… I would say over two-thirds of them and their families use Drogheda Street to access the schools”.
Jacinta described it as a well-travelled road with a huge volume of cars and other vehicles traversing it from 8.45-9.15am, with cars parked on both sides. “It is a nightmare, it is an accident waiting to happen,” she said. “It is literally just an accident waiting to happen.”
They had sought the immediate instalment of a traffic warden, which Jacinta said would help alleviate the problems for St John’s and St Evins. Unfortunately, a motion before Kildare Co Council in November was defeated.
“The other measure we asked for was a pedestrian crossing on that road and again, it wouldn’t just work for St Evin’s school, it would work for St John’s school and it would also work for St Peter’s school, because obviously families have lots of children going to the different schools in the area and that could be a central point for crossing,” said Jacinta.
She added that speed is another issue and also said that at present children cross over on a speed bump that features “white chevrons”.
“It’s very unsafe, there’s plenty of notices that there’s a speed bump on the road but there’s very few notices that indicate that there’s a school ahead, that there’s a school crossing ahead, that children are at play, that it’s a 30 [km/h] zone,” Jacinta noted. “It’s seriously lacking, seriously, seriously lacking in signage indicating that there are vulnerable children crossing over.”
She pointed to other schools in the locality that don’t have the same student population or heavy traffic as Monasterevin, but have features like a pedestrian crossing. “Monasterevin children are at risk of injury, serious injury, crossing that road on a daily basis,” she said.
Jacinta also explained that they have an action plan in place and the local councillors are onboard ahead of Monasterevin joining the Kildare-Newbridge Municipal District in the new year. Their intention to get results is palpable.
“From the very outset on the 1 January we will be starting a campaign to highlight the problems at our school,” she said, “and to see what we can do to ensure that our children in Monasterevin are not forgotten and that they can safely cross the road to go to school.”
You can find the petition at my.uplift.ie – search for ‘Road Safety for Monasterevin School Children’.