DEATH TRAPS

‘Some­one will be killed’ – fears over road dan­gers at the new Loreto school and at Kyle Cross

Wexford People - - FRONT PAGE - By MARIA PEP­PER

PAR­ENTS fear the ab­sence of pedes­trian cross­ings on the road out­side the gates of the newly-opened Loreto school is ‘an ac­ci­dent wait­ing to hap­pen’, putting stu­dents’ lives in dan­ger.

And a con­cerned dad-of-five has launched a cam­paign over the junc­tion at Kyle Cross where he be­lieves ‘some­one is go­ing to be killed’ un­less safety mea­sures are put in place.

The new Loreto school opened last week to wel­come al­most 800 stu­dents, many of whom are forced to cross lanes of traf­fic lead­ing to a round­about to get to and from the school ev­ery morn­ing and evening.

Cllr Ge­orge Lawlor is among those call­ing for ac­tion. ‘It is clear now that pedes­trian cross­ings are needed and we need to get them in­stalled ur­gently,’ he said.

When con­tacted, a spokesper­son for the coun­cil said they will be closely mon­i­tor­ing the sit­u­a­tion over com­ing weeks.

Mean­while, Cross­abeg par­ent Dar­ren Kenny is de­mand­ing ac­tion on the Kyle Cross junc­tion, fol­low­ing a num­ber of near misses, in­volv­ing cars swerv­ing around left-turn­ing traf­fic into the right-turn lane.

Mr Kenny, who has called a pub­lic meet­ing in re­la­tion to the is­sue, says a round­about should be in­stalled at the junc­tion as the safest pos­si­ble solution.

THE LACK of a pedes­trian cross­ing on a busy road out­side the newly-opened Loreto sec­ondary school in Wex­ford is putting the lives of stu­dents in dan­ger, ac­cord­ing to par­ents who are call­ing for im­proved safety mea­sures in the area.

The school which opened a week ago is at­tended by 780 stu­dents, many of whom are forced to cross lanes of traf­fic lead­ing to a round­about to get to and from the school ev­ery morn­ing and evening.

While there is a pedes­trian cross­ing in­side the school, there is noth­ing to reg­u­late busy traf­fic out­side the school and stu­dents have to rely on mo­torists vol­un­tar­ily slow­ing down or stop­ping to let them pass.

One man who has a daugh­ter at­tend­ing Loreto said he was shocked to dis­cover that there are no pedes­trian cross­ings out­side on the road in one of the busiest ar­eas of traf­fic in the town and he spoke to the school au­thor­i­ties and the Coun­cil about the over­sight.

He said he couldn’t un­der­stand why a pedes­trian cross­ing wasn’t planned for when the school was be­ing de­signed.

‘I’ve been told by the Coun­cil that it’s a ques­tion of money which they don’t have at the mo­ment and they are mon­i­tor­ing it. But I think that’s not good enough’, he said.

‘It’s a free for all up there - all that the stu­dents can do is look right and left and then make a run for it. I know it’s only in the morn­ings and af­ter­noons but when you look at where this school is lo­cated, it’s just com­mon sense. There was a pedes­trian cross­ing out­side the old school’.

‘I wouldn’t like for some­one to get hurt’ said the Wex­ford fa­ther who also high­lighted a lack of park­ing for par­ents wait­ing to col­lect stu­dents from the school.

Many par­ents are park­ing in the car parks of busi­ness premises around the gen­eral area and wait­ing in their cars for stu­dents to make a dash across the road.

There is a set-down area in­side the school gates for par­ents de­liv­er­ing stu­dents in the morn­ings but no place for them to park in the af­ter­noons.

‘Last week, there were two se­cu­rity of­fi­cers di­rect­ing you to a set-down area and that’s fine’, he said.

An­other par­ents de­scribed the sit­u­a­tion as ‘an ac­ci­dent wait­ing to hap­pen’ and also called on the lo­cal author­ity to erect pedes­trian cross­ings in the area.

A year ago, while the Loreto school was still be­ing built, mem­bers of Wex­ford District Coun­cil ex­pressed con­cern that

no plans had been put in place at that stage to deal with an­tic­i­pated park­ing and traf­fic prob­lems in an area close to al­ready-con­gested Whit­ford round­about. One of those who made a call in Septem­ber 2017 for a cross­ing to be in­stalled be­cause of the school’s lo­ca­tion, was Cllr. Ge­orge Lawlor.

‘At that time, they were wait- ing to see where the pinch points would be and where the cross­ing would be most needed,’ said Cllr. Lawlor.

‘The safety of the stu­dents is para­mount and it is clear now that pedes­trian cross­ings are needed and we need to get them in­stalled ur­gently. It is po­ten­tially very dan­ger­ous,’ he said.

A Coun­cil spokesper­son said the lo­cal author­ity’s Road Safety Of­fi­cer and Bor­ough En­gi­neer have been in dis­cus­sions with the Loreto school over the past few weeks, re­gard­ing ‘the man­age­ment of the school-gen­er­ated pedes­trian traf­fic’ and will closely mon­i­tor the sit­u­a­tion over the next few weeks to de­ter­mine the most ap­pro­pri­ate re­sponse.

Many Loreto stu­dents have to cross a busy junc­tion each day.

Stu­dents cross­ing the busy road on the round­about out­side the new Loreto school.

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