A BANDON primary school has become the first in the county to have a safe school zone installed outside its gates.
There was great excitement at Scoil Phádraig Naofa on Convent Hill last Friday morning for the official launch of the zone by county mayor Cllr Gillian Coughlan and Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Hildegarde Naughton.
Eye-catching traffic calming measures have been designed to encourage an increase in the number of pupils walking, cycling and scooting to school. Pencil-shaped bollards have been erected to prevent cars from parking on the footpath, while brightly coloured shapes have been painted on the road. A raised pedestrian crossing has also been built as part of efforts to slow down approaching traffic.
Ten schools across the country have been successful in securing funding during the first round of the safe routes to school (srts) programme, while a further 50 primary and secondary schools across the country are expected to benefit from subsequent rounds. The works are being carried out by Cork County Council, with funding from the National Transport Authority (NTA) and An Taisce.
Cllr Coughlan said there had been a noticeable increase in pupils walking and cycling to the school daily, reduced congestion and an increase in pupil safety within the school zone.
Minister Naughton said the programme ‘reimagines the journey that our children make to school every day’, while Ellen Murphy from An Taisce said the feedback from the students has been phenomenal.