Fears of traffic chaos when new school opens
CALL FOR GARDA PRESENCE OUTSIDE ST. MARY'S
A GARDA presence will be needed at the new St Mary's Parish school at Bryanstown to prevent chaos when it opens.
Almost 1,000 students will be starting at the school in September and with the Sacred Heart and St. Mary's DS in the locality, the impact of hundreds of extra cars and buses in the area could bring traffic to a standstill.
Councillor Frank Maher feels that the initial period after the opening needs a garda on duty to try and ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible.
' There are real concerns being expressed about the impending traffic situation by people living on the stretch of road,' he stated.
'Of course the morning is the issue but as well as all the school traffic, there's a lot of residents also using the road to get to work or catch a bus or train,' he added.
He feels having a garda on traffic duty would help bring much needed order in the early days of the school.
' The one thing we want is for this to work, but there are times when people don't obey the rules that are there and problems can arise, as has happened at Marymount, Fatima and Bothar Brugha. People just can't block up the road.'
In a reply from the borough council on the issue, he was informed that the details supplied in the planning application state that there are 972 pupils with 300 coming by bus. There will also be in the region of 186 cars arriving between 8.30am and 9.30am.
' The school has allocated places for pupils to be dropped off and the gardaí, school authorities and council are aware of the concerns, but I'm anxious we don't just wake up on a Monday morning and find gridlock and wonder how we are going to solve it. The traffic plans must be adhered to and it may need the gardai to play a key role in that,' he stated.
The main entrance is off a roundabout and that in itself brings challenges.
' There's going to be teething problems and it's a case of finding the straightforward solutions. The likes of the bus parking area must be kept clear, unlike some instances with the bus bay on West Street,' he added.