A GRIEVING mum says that €2m pledged by the Government for implementing speed limits in residential areas will not be enough.
Transport Minister Paschal Donohoe yesterday announced the allocation for local authorities to support them in implementing 30kph speed limits in housing estates and residential areas.
The minister urged local authorities to introduce more 30kph speed limit zones in residential areas.
Paschal Donohoe asked each local authority to identify the residential areas where this limit can be introduced. He previously asked local authorities to review the speed limits in place in housing estates to determine if appropriate limits and signage are in place, especially where children are at play.
“This was on the back of a number of meetings I had with the Jake’s Legacy campaign group, who are campaigning for reduced speed limits following the tragic death of young Jake Brennan last year,” Mr Donohoe revealed.
Jake (aged six) was killed in a road accident near his home in Kilkenny as he played with friends on their estate.
His mum Roseann (30) told the Herald that the funding is not enough – she believed it would cost €250,000 just to implement the 30kph speed limit in 400 housing estates in the Kilkenny region alone.
She also believes that the 30kph speed limit should be mandatory in housing estates.
“A 50kph limit is crazy in housing estates where our children play,” she said.
Roseann said it was still being left with the councils to pick whichever housing estate they want.
“He [the minister] is not saying it should be mandatory in housing estates,” she said. “If he said it was mandatory, you would need a whole lot more than €2m.”
However, Roseann said funding would have a positive impact, as every council would benefit.
“They are finally starting to see that the 30kph is needed in all parts of Ireland, and in housing estates. But I don’t think it is just needed in some housing estates, it’s needed in all housing estates because it has been shown by the Road Safety Authority – less speed, less injuries,” she said.
“It is a stepping stone to make our housing estates safer.”
The brave mum will continue the campaign with a sleep-out with 11 others outside the Dail from Sunday, February 15 until Wednesday 18.
“We are reaching out to the public to come up and say hello,” she said.
A spokesperson for the Department of Transport said: “The setting of speed limits in residential areas is the responsibility of local authorities.
“Minister Donohoe issued a circular last October calling on all local authorities to initiate a review of speed limits in their area with a view to determine if appropriate limits are in place. This was to be done in consultation with local residents.”
The increased use of a 30kph speed limit is a measure that “will help mitigate against the dangers posed to cyclists and pedestrians”.