Pick up time at Tullyallen School.
After much campaigning by locals and despite the fact that €60,000 was allocated to Louth County Council for the project, Tullyallen which has a population of almost 2,000 and a National School attended by 500 children, is still without adequate traffic control systems.
It is mystifying that a school which has been there since 1955 does not have a protected crossing for its pupils. All of this despite years of requests from locals for traffic calming measures to be installed in their village.
Only after an eight year old girl was knocked down and seriously injured as she walked home from school in 2020, did Louth County Council promise the Tullyallen residents that their concerns would be addressed.
Even then though, the cash-starved Council warned that, for budgetary reasons, there was “no chance of any remedial road works being done at this location during 2020.”
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They did however carry out a speed and traffic count in 2020 which revealed a serious problem with speeding through the village with 70% of drivers clocked driving at speeds in excess of the 50 kilometres per hour limit.
Following a motion from Labour Councillor Michelle Hall, the Council appointed a School Crossing Warden for Tullyallen NS in October 2020.
In February 2021 the campaign to make the Main Street safer, especially in the vicinity of the school finally bore fruit when it was announced that €60,000 has been allocated to the project.
There was great jubilation at the time and the Council got to work seeking quotations from contractors.
But, at yesterday’s Borough Council meeting it was revealed that after three submissions for installing the traffic calming measures were received in July none was acceptable and the Council who then issued a request to another contractor who, in October, came in with a price of €85,345.
“This amount exceeded the available funding of €60,000 for the works, it was not considered good value for money and subsequently the contract was not awarded” said Director of Services (Operations), Catherine Duff.
A scaled down version of the project, omitting controlled crossings, was subsequently drawn up and a price was received in mid- November. The council then proposed another revised version which included a full scale zebra crossing but by this time they had missed the deadline and the €60,000 was allocated to other similar projects on the county.
Labour Councillor Michelle Hall expressed her frustration with the news saying: “While I am grateful to hear that some traffic calming measures will go ahead soon, I am very disappointed that €60,000 that was earmarked specifically for a Low Cost Safety Scheme in Tullyallen, where no significant traffic calming measures currently exist, is now gone.
“This money has been spent elsewhere, with no notification being given to the Councillors, Tullyallen NS or to Tullyallen Road Safety Committee. ... According to the Council, this is an executive function but as that decision affects thousands of people, there should be an onus on LCC to communicate effectively with all stakeholders and this was not done.”
Here are some of our previous articles on this topic: