Macroom pupils want safer routes to their local schools

May 15th, 2024 3:35 PM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Young pupils attending St Joseph’s school have to walk along a busy road because there is no footpath.

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STUDENTS from four schools in Macroom have come together for the first time to campaign for safer routes to walk or cycle to school.

At a special meeting in Macroom Town Hall last week, Green School Committees from two secondary schools and two primary schools presented their findings and outlined their concerns about serious safety issues to local TDs, MEPs and councillors and Council engineers.

A walkabout around the town also highlighted the difficulties students face on a daily basis.

The challenges include being forced to walk in the gutter by St Joseph’s Girls Primary School and St Mary’s Secondary School, because there is no footpath along the very busy road.

Miriam Murphy, a teacher at Bishop McEgan College, described it as an historic event and said the students had gathered their own data to present to public representatives.

‘These students represent over 1,000 pedestrians on Macroom streets every day,’ she said.

‘The current infrastructure is below par, in need of repair and needs to be improved to make it safe to cycle or walk to school,’ the teacher added.

Aaron Forde and Niamh O’Callaghan, senior members of the Green Schools committee at Bishop McEgan College, who carried out a walkability audit said it was important that public representatives saw for themselves the various safety issues they were faced with.

‘There is no sign indicating that a school is even there and there is a need for a pedestrian crossing from the Castle Grounds towards Bank of Ireland. There is a lack of connectivity for pedestrians,’ said Aaron.

Green Schools Committee member from St Mary’s Secondary School, Chloe Lehane said the walkabout was very crucial to highlight to public reps the difficulties they encounter going to school.

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