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Speeding drivers posing a danger to Innishannon

March 29th, 2022 8:30 AM

By Kieran O'Mahony

Traffic stops to allow pupils from the Great Beginnings Montessori school in Innishannon cross the road safely. (Photos: Andy Gibson)

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WITH over 16,000 vehicles passing through Innishannon every day, locals are calling for urgent traffic calming and awareness measures to tackle the problem which they say is making the close-knit village unsafe.

A recently formed group, Innishannon Traffic Action Group (ITAG), says that Innishannon is in danger of becoming the ‘Highway to West Cork’ as opposed to the ‘Gateway to West Cork’, as it’s known locally.

Comprising residents, business owners and local public reps, the group said that the Main Street, Church Hill and village approach roads are becoming a lethal place for children, pedestrians and cyclists.

Joe Walsh of ITAG said they formed the group because of their concerns over the traffic volume, as well as the dangerously high speeds going through their village.

‘We feel the village has suffered badly from the heavy traffic volumes as well as the speed, which together create a very dangerous and unsafe place for local residents and children,’ said Joe. 

‘Our group was formed primarily to assist with the implementation of physical traffic calming measures in the village, working with Cork County Council and Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII), but also to change the behaviour of motorists coming from all approach roads into our village.’

In 2021, ITAG – with the help of Irish Traffic Surveys Limited – carried out a one-week traffic speed and volume survey at three locations in the village – Great Beginnings Montessori, Scoil Eoin and the grotto – which revealed that more than 110,000 vehicles passed through the village during that period.

‘We have over 16,000 vehicles passing through our village every day and we have more traffic through here on a weekly basis than was recorded on the Cork-Macroom road on the same dates – and they are getting a bypass!’ he noted.

Joe added that the survey highlighted one motorist driving at 153kph outside their montessori school at the entrance to the village.

‘That was the highest speed recorded but there were many others travelling in excess of 100kph, while the speed at which 85% of all traffic was travelling over 55kph, which is over the speed limit.’

The group also surveyed the local community on how they felt about the traffic situation in the village. 

‘We had 300 people complete the survey and there was considerable support for a traffic campaign, with four out of five respondents believing that vehicles should drive more slowly through the village.

‘The majority also felt it was dangerous to cycle in the village, while there was also considerable support for a 30kph speed limit.’

Joe added that they want locals to take the ‘ITAG pledge’, which will involve people changing their driving habits within their 50kph zones.

‘These include keeping your speed below or around 30kph, stopping to let pedestrians cross the road and slowing down to let cars out of junctions.’

Cllr Alan Coleman, is a member of the group, said this is a good example of a local community working with Cork County Council and other agencies to try and improve the quality of life in what is a difficult situation with the volume of traffic going through the village.

Joe added that the survey highlighted one motorist driving at 153kph outside their montessori school at the entrance to the village.

‘That was the highest speed recorded but there were many others travelling in excess of 100kph, while the speed at which 85% of all traffic was travelling over 55kph, which is over the speed limit.’

The group also surveyed the local community on how they felt about the traffic situation in the village. 

‘We had 300 people complete the survey and there was considerable support for a traffic campaign, with four out of five respondents believing that vehicles should drive more slowly through the village.

‘The majority also felt it was dangerous to cycle in the village, while there was also considerable support for a 30kph speed limit.’

Joe added that they want locals to take the ‘ITAG pledge’, which will involve people changing their driving habits within their 50kph zones.

‘These include keeping your speed below or around 30kph, stopping to let pedestrians cross the road and slowing down to let cars out of junctions.’

Cllr Alan Coleman, is a member of the group, said this is a good example of a local community working with Cork County Council and other agencies to try and improve the quality of life in what is a difficult situation with the volume of traffic going through the village.

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