Brontë speed cut to 20mph

Joanne Ross


Joanne Ross


A part-time speed limit is set to be enforced outside Brontë Primary School from today (Tuesday).

This action comes more than three years after parents first began campaigning for a reduction in speed.

Elizabeth Davidson (pictured), principal of Brontë PS, said the speed reduction has been possible thanks to all who lobbied for change.

“I has taken a while but we are glad that it is now sorted and indeed that it is going to be enforced by the PSNI.”

New legislation means traffic passing the Glascar school when pupils are arriving in the morning and leaving in the afternoon, will have to reduce speed from 60mph to 20mph.

Parents had wanted more than a part-time speed limit as motorists could legally travel up to 60mph while passing children walking to and from school.

However, they said this reduction is “a step in the right direction”.

After the initial campaign began in 2015, concerned parents and residents were promised a permanent speed reduction to 40mph.

However this plan was scrapped in January 2017 when the Department of Infrastructure announced a scheme aimed at introducing more part-time 20mph speed limits at rural primary schools on roads where the national speed limit applied.

It had then been hoped that the new 20mph part-time limit on this stretch of the Ballinaskeagh Road would come into force earlier this year but it has taken over a year.

Mrs Davidson, principal of Brontë PS, said: “We would urge people to adhere to the speed limits during the morning and afternoon times. This reduction is warmly welcomed as it will be very good for local families and staff who will be coming in and out of the school gates”.

Mrs Davidson understands that the speed reduction is only during the time pupils are starting and leaving school and would ask motorists that if they notice the lights flashing at unusual times to contact the Department of Infrastructure.

She kindly reminded all drivers adhere to the signs when they are flashing.

Kay Davidson, a parent of children at the school and a local resident, was delighted with the news. However as a resident, she feels the need is there for the speed to be permanently reduced.

“It is long overdue on this stretch of road and is a very positive step in the right direction. I look forward to being able to take my children across the road without cars flying at us from both directions at 60mph.

“As a resident living on the roadside, I still feel a temporary limit is inadequate for the other hours in the day (and night when the racers come out), the weekends and school holidays and would still hope that once this first step is implemented, we can apply further for more permanent restrictions to keep local children safe in their homes and gardens during all hours of the day and not just during school pick-up times,” she said.

A Department of Infrastructure spokesman said the new reduction in speed would be “for a distance of 400 to 500 metres along adjacent roads in the vicinity of the school and will be enforceable by the PSNI”.

“Motorists should be aware of, and adhere to, the new arrangements in the vicinity of these schools. Lighting on the signs (Wig Wag lights) will advise motorists when the speed limit is in effect.

“These signs will remain off for most of the time but will light up at the start and end of the school day. Installation of the required signage and lighting will be complete on or shortly after 18 September,” a spokesperson said last week.

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