Speed limit reduction to 30km per hour in estates

Speed limit reduction to 30km per hour in estates

By Mary Dennehy

A REPORT is currently being compiled on proposals to reduce speed limits in all residential areas across South Dublin County from 50km/h to 30km/h.

Draft By-Laws and accompanying maps were on display to the public between September 27 to November 1, with all submissions made by members of the public during this time currently being fed into a report, alongside submissions made from councillors and public bodies, such as Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII).

Houses aerial

The report, which, called Draft Speed Limit By-Law Review 2016, looks at speed limits countywide, will then go back to councillors for ratification.

Proposals to reduce speed limits in housing estates came about after the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport released in March 2015 a document called Guidelines for Setting and Managing Speed Limits in Ireland.

The Department’s document is only a ‘guideline’ and each local authority has retained the power to determine the speeds in housing estates – with South Dublin County Council proposing a blanket introduction of a 30km/h speed limit for estates within its region.

In recent weeks, questions have been raised as to what constitutes a ‘housing estate’, with some motorists concerned that the 30km/h speed limit could be applied to through roads or main roads.

One Tallaght resident who contacted The Echo said: “We were not informed or asked about this.

“The council covered the minimum legal requirements to have it in the national papers, by burying it midweek in The Irish Times and Independent.

“Councillors bombard us with leaflets at election time, but no leaflet was sent regarding this proposed 30km/h speed limit.”

The resident added: “This 30km/h speed limit will cause gridlock, increase greenhouse gas, cost us more in petrol, be bad for car engines, cause accidents as drivers will have to keep looking at the speedometer instead of the road, cause road rage and encourage people to walk out in front of cars.

“I strongly advise anyone who does not want this 30km/h speed limit introduced to make their views known immediately and strongly to their councillors.”

Residents have also claimed that the information provided by the council is “confusing and unclear”.

When contacted by The Echo, a council spokeswoman said that, according to the Department’s managing speed document:

“There is no standard definition of what constitutes a housing estate however, for the purpose of this document, a housing estate is considered to be a self-contained grouping of housing with single or multiple entry points for vehicles.

“In addition such areas often have green areas of play areas associated with them.”

According to the council: “The proposed 30km/h limit will be implemented through slow zone signage which it is intended will be provided at the entrance points to residential and school areas across South County Dublin –”Slow Zones” will be created, which will be indicated by the provision of “Slow Zone” signs.

“The objective of this approach is to improve safety for pedestrians and cyclists, older people and children, and is in keeping with the council’s recently launched Road Safety Plan 2016-2020.”

While the submission process is now closed, information on the council’s Speed Limit By-Law Review 2016 is still available at www//consult.sdublincoco.ie.

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