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Macroom kids have to walk in gutter to school

May 20th, 2023 10:10 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Macroom kids have to walk in gutter to school Image
One of Sarah Kate’s videos showing the challenge for children on the road to the school.

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A MACROOM mum worried about the dangers that her children face daily on their school commute said it’s the only town in the country where kids have to ‘walk in the gutter’ to access an education.

Sarah Kate Murphy has previously highlighted the critical issue of safe access routes to St Joseph’s Primary School and St Mary’s Secondary School. She has shared videos online of her two children walking in the gutter, while on their way to school in the middle of heavy traffic.

‘The current situation is extremely concerning and poses a significant risk to the safety of the students, staff and local community,’ Sarah Kate told The Southern Star.

She highlighted the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programme, which promotes walking and cycling to school through the creation of safe and accessible route. 

She said it is essential that the SRTS programmes is implemented in Macroom and in particular around those two schools.

‘The Cork County Development Plan 2022-2028 for Macroom emphasises the need for safe and accessible routes to schools, particularly in areas of high levels of pedestrian and cyclist activity.

‘Facilitating a modal shift to walking and cycling for local journeys within the town would help ease congestion and promote physical and mental well-being. There is significant potential for cycle routes in the town given the compact nature of it and the proximity of most residential areas to the centre,’ she explained.

Sarah Kate said that the current access routes to both schools are ‘dangerous and inadequately designed.’

‘The lack of appropriate speed limits, road marking, signage and car priority zonage rather than pedestrian puts the safety of students at risk. The situation is further exacerbated by the high volume of traffic during peak school hours.’ She has also written to her local public representatives and the schools to voice her concerns and warned that failure to take immediate action could result in serious injury or even fatalities.

‘The safety  and well-being of our children should always be a top priority,’ she said.

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