Cllr Vinny McCormack.

Councillor seeks support for speed reduction motion

Westmeath county councillor, Vinny McCormack, has put out a call to all his elected colleagues to support a motion that would have a huge impact on road safety in local towns and villages – a motion that was inspired by a request from a local primary school.

The motion, which will be debated and put to a vote on Monday, calls for traffic management plans and crucially, a commitment from Westmeath County Council to put in place a budget specifically for the purposes of speed reduction and safety measures on approach roads into small towns and villages.

Cllr McCormack said: “This is a longstanding issue for several communities that are on busy roads, and across the political spectrum, there is an understanding that measures are needed, particularly at school drop off and pick up times.

“I received a request for help from Moyvore National School, who are particularly affected for a variety of reasons, including their location on the side of the R392, which was already a busy road before the additional impact of Centre Parcs traffic.

“At a recent district meeting, I put forward a motion specifically calling for a safety and speed reduction plan to be implemented in Moyvore – that motion received unanimous support from the members of the district.

“Monday’s motion to the full council meeting is designed to put a funding source in place for works to be carried out in towns and villages experiencing similar problems right across the county.

“If you regularly pass by the school at the key times just after 9am and again at 3pm, you’ll see cars travelling much too fast, and I’m worried what could happen if a child was to run out on the road at the wrong time”.

“This motion, if approved at our full council meeting on Monday, would give us a ring-fenced budget per district each year to carry out a suite of speed reduction and safety improvement measures at a number of towns and villages.

“My hope is to allocate €200,000 per annum, which would allow us to completely upgrade at least two villages per district per year.

“Moyvore is an obvious case in point, but I would also highlight approach roads leading into Moate and Loughnavalley as others where these measures would be hugely beneficial.”

Cllr McCormack is asking for the support of his colleagues to get behind this plan, with a view to putting plans in place before the disruption of the upcoming election.

“As the elections come looming into view, it’s natural that councillors will start thinking about that when it comes to their priorities, but regardless of who gets returned on polling day, if we can get this in place, there’s no doubt in my mind that there will be children somewhere in Westmeath who will be prevented from suffering serious injury, or worse. For that reason, I hope that we can come together to get this done, starting with the votes on Monday.”