Sunday 17 November 2019

Road safety for pedestrians a 'stand-out' issue in Skerries

Ken Phelan

Fingal County Council is to conduct a traffic and pedestrian flow survey in Skerries following concerns around road safety and traffic congestion in the town.

Putting forward a motion at a recent Balbriggan/Swords/Rush-Lusk Area Committee meeting, Cllr Joe O'Brien (GP) said the issue of road safety and pedestrian movement was one of the 'stand-out' issues in Skerries.

Cllr O'Brien said there were a number of 'pinch points' around the town where people felt 'extremely unsafe' crossing roads, with parents 'not allowing their children to cross alone.'

There was 'huge merit', he said in, 'taking a look' at pedestrian flows and identifying ways in which routes could be made safer for pedestrians.

Cllr O'Brien said he would encourage the council to consider the issue 'on a strategic level', with certain areas focused on, such as schools, Skerries Village and Skerries Train Station, noting these were locations with 'quite dangerous' crossing points.

Calling for the council to conduct a formal assessment of flows, Cllr O'Brien said this would 'fit in' with a number of council strategies, including the 'Age Friendly Strategy' and the 'Climate Action Plan.'

It would also, he noted, encourage people to walk rather than use another form of transport.

Supporting Cllr O'Brien's motion, Cllr Tom O'Leary (FG) noted that while Skerries was becoming 'more popular' and was attracting more tourism, people were 'circling the town' in search of parking.

Echoing Cllr O'Brien's concerns regarding road safety, he also noted that many estates in Skerries were without pedestrian crossings.

Cllr O'Leary called for 'a study or review' of the town to use 'best national practice or best international practice' in managing pedestrian and traffic flow.

Skerries Harbour, he noted, was getting 'very very popular', but was 'severely congested.'

A boardwalk for Skerries Harbour would help to alleviate the problem, he said.

A planned Napoleonic Tower in Skerries, could bring '200,000 people' to the town, Cllr O'Leary said, calling for a 'comprehensive review' of 'how we're going to move around Skerries in a user-friendly, green way.'

Responding to the councillors, a council official confirmed a traffic and pedestrian survey would be held 'in the coming months', which would give a 'strategic overview' of all pedestrian and traffic movement in Skerries.

This survey could also look at parking and cycle infrastructure issues.

If there were any particular routes, roads or areas which members wished to have included in the survey, these should be brought to the attention of the operations department.

A consultant's report on provision of a boardwalk at Skerries Harbour was expected 'in the coming weeks', the official concluded.

Fingal Independent