Dunmanway residents have petitioned Cork County Council to clamp down on dangerous driving.
More than 360 residents living at either side of Bantry Road – Dunmanway’s main approach road from the west – signed the petition. The residents decided it was time to take action after one of them saw a vehicle hit a speed of 85kph in the 50kph zone.
Dunmanway-based Cllrs Declan Hurley (Ind) and Deirdre Kelly (FF) raised the issue at a West Cork Municipal District meeting. According to Cllr Hurley the vehicle clocked doing 85kph was, at the time, tearing past an electronic speed activation sign – the kind designed to warn motorists to slow down.
Cllr Deirdre Kelly pointed out that she had previously raised the issue last March, but nothing had been done. She said the petition – supported by letters from local schools – is calling on the Council to carry out a traffic survey and to add more traffic calming measures.
Cllr Declan Hurley said: ‘Previous attempts, such as narrowing of the roadway, have not worked.’ He proposed a two-pronged approach. ‘The Council needs to add traffic calming to eliminate speed and reckless overtaking on this stretch of roadway, and the gardaí need to implement the traffic laws. I’ve seen it for myself: cars overtaking on what is essentially a residential road. It’s no wonder the residents are fearful for their safety.’
Cllr Hurley suggested that a traffic light also needs to be put in place at the entrance to the Maria Immaculate College to provide students with an added measure of protection from speeding motorists.
There are two schools on the road. The Model School has 54 pupils and a pre-school has a further 25 pupils. There is also the Maria Immaculata Community College that has 550 pupils and uses the same feeder road as the Dunmanway Municipal Swimming Pool.
Cllr Hurley said the road is a popular walking route, has four housing estates, an extremely busy Meals on Wheels service, and two popular community amenities – the Astroturf and the Community Garden.
John Ahern, the Council’s senior executive engineer, confirmed that the road markings would be repainted in the next couple of weeks.
He said additional road markings, highlighting the fact that the road is a 50kph zone, would be added as well.
And he informed the councillors that the local authority has applied for funding under the 2021 Safety Improvement Scheme for additional traffic calming measures on this section of road.
Mr Ahern said, ‘All of these measures, which are to be fully designed, will require a statutory process.’