20mph speed limit welcomed outside schools

The introduction of a temporary 20mph speed limit outside a number of schools in east Antrim and Newtownabbey has been welcomed.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon made the announcement on September 7.

Infrastructure Minister Nichola Mallon made the announcement yesterday (Monday).

The scheme will be rolled out at 100 schools across the province including Upper Ballyboley Primary School, Ballyclare High School, Edmund Rice College, Mallusk Primary School, Islandmagee Primary

School, Carrickfergus Grammar School and Carrickfergus Academy.

Making the announcement, Minister Mallon said: “I made a commitment in June to allocate £2 million of funding to bring forward part-time 20mph speed limits at around 100 schools across Northern Ireland so that parents, children and staff will be safer as they go to and from school on a daily basis.

“Children, parents and teachers will see positive, practical changes delivered on the ground by the Department of Infrastructure in their community.

“Schools in Northern Ireland were assessed across our four roads divisions and 25 schools in each division were identified based on considerations of need as well as individual site constraints.

“Road safety, especially around our schools, is a priority and it is my intention that through future programmes many more schools will have a 20mph speed limit on the roads outside their gates.

“My officials are working at pace to develop the schemes, take forward the legislation and put in place the new part-time 20mph speed limit measures at these schools.

“This is another step forward in our effort to make our roads safer, however, it is vital that all road users take care on our roads. Together we can deliver safer places for all our communities.”

Glengormley SDLP councillor Noreen McClelland has welcomed the move to implement a 20mph speed limit outside Edmund Rice College on the Hightown Road.

Cllr McClelland commented: “I welcome that the Minister has listened to the longstanding concerns of parents and residents regarding the speed of traffic on the Hightown Road.

“I’m pleased that Minister Mallon has acted early in her tenure to implement a part-time 20mph speed limit outside Edmund Rice College, adding an addition layer of safety for pupils travelling to and from the school grounds.

“Road safety is a priority for my colleagues and I, and it is my hope that this new scheme will go a long way to protecting our school children.”

East Antrim UUP MLA Roy Beggs added: “At the 20mph lower speed limit, fewer accidents occur and injuries tend to be less severe.

“Having previously lobbied for the pilot 20mph scheme at Model Primary School, I am pleased to learn that the part time 20mph speed limit has been expanded to an additional 100 schools. It will enhance road safety for our children, parents and staff and at these busy school sites and make our roads safer for all.

“Locally, I welcome the part-time 20mph speed limits at Upper Ballyboley PS, Islandmagee PS, Carrickfergus Grammar School and Carrickfergus Academy, which adds to the pilot scheme at Model PS, Carrickfergus.”

At each of the schools new road signs will be erected in the form of standard fixed speed limit roundel signs with flashing amber lights set to come on at the times the reduced speed limit applies.

This follows trials at a number of schools to determine the effectiveness of this arrangement of signs and it was found they have a positive impact on the reduction in mean speed.

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