More speed bumps on the way

Increased use of speed bumps to slow traffic passing through Westmeath’s towns and villages is on the cards, it has emerged.

County council director of services Barry Kehoe stated at the most recent meeting of the Planning and Transportation SPC that there is a need for “more traffic calming” at a number of locations around the county.

Mr Kehoe was answering a query from SPC chair, Cllr Hazel Smyth, on whether Westmeath’s new road safety strategy provided for the installation of rumble strips to slow traffic in locations where speed is a concern.

Mr Kehoe said the council intends installing more ‘vertical deflections’, which, he said, would be bumps, ‘tabletops’ or pedestrian crossings. He said rumble strips were probably not in the mix as they are “just too noisy”, and they don't have the desired effect of slowing down traffic sufficiently.

“When you're retrofitting traffic calming, often it's the best option, so there certainly will be more of those type of measures in our towns and villages into the future because we do need to put in physical measures to reduce traffic speed,” he stated.

Mr Kehoe went on to say that by and large, motorists are not obeying the speed limits: “The speeds are too high within towns and villages,” he stated, adding that often times the speed should be a lot lower than the limit.

“So there will be more traffic calming in all our towns and villages. It will take time to install but it is required,” he told Cllr Smyth.