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Monday, 23rd November 2020

Power repeats calls for safety measures at Sandpit School

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Councillor Declan Power with Michelle Dunne, the Secretary of the Sandpit NS Parents Council.

“There's a couple of near-misses almost every week" says parent

Independent Cllr. Declan Power has repeated his call for Louth County Council to implement road safety measures outside Sandpit National School where he says children’s lives are currently being put at risk.

Power's appeal is in support of a campaign by the management and Parent's Council at the school which has been ongoing for many years.

Parent's Council Secretary Michelle Dunne told Drogheda Life this afternoon that there are a couple of near misses almost every week at the school.

This is despite works such as a lay-by and warning signs which the parents have clubbed together to provide themselves. Ten years ago they even paid for a 200 - 300 metre footpath to be installed outside the school.

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Michelle told Drogheda Life that the parents picking up their children are not the main cause of the problem, many of them park in the Church car park down the road although some do park along the side of the road which is very dangerous.

"The main problem is that, because the school is built on a bend, other drivers who may not even know there is a school here often come around the bend far too fast. We would like traffic calming  measures installed to give drivers fair warning that there is a school ahead."

Ms Dunne also said that at the moment the problem wasn't too bad because the children were leaving school in small groups by class order as a social distancing measure for Covid-19. Normally however, the whole school leaves at the same time which leads to congestion on the road.

Children leaving Sandpit National School this afternoon.

"Road safety is a serious daily concern for parents and children at Sandpit NS" she said. We welcome Council measures to reduce speed, increase visibility and road safety outsied the school. We are especially concerned at the moment due to darker mornings and weather conditions reducing visibility."

Councillor Power said: “I raised this issue a year ago in the Borough Council and have sought various updates since but very little has been done. Parents are becoming frustrated by the lack of Council support as children are risking their lives as they cross the road to attend the school.”

“Traffic congestion is at a peak during schools drop-off and pick-up times, leading to blind spots as children cross the road. These blind spots are also increased by the fact that the school is situated on a road with bends 50m at each side of the school”.

When Cllr Power raised the issue at the November Borough Council meeting Senior Engineer, Mark Johnson said that “School warning lights had been repaired and timed to come on during pick up and drop off times and that a road traffic survey would be conducted as soon as possible”.

“I am currently working with LCC to ensure that Sandpit NS is included on the Road Safety Plan works for 2021 and encouraging that all schools across the County be reviewed. Parking problems and safety concerns are common place outside many schools and the council should be introducing better safety measures where necessary.”

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