Kinnegad (file pic); councillors say speed cameras would be better used in smaller towns and villages than on main roads or motorways.

Policy to combat speeding in villages approved

A traffic calming draft policy, aimed at reducing road deaths and serious injury in smaller towns and villages in Westmeath, has been approved by the local Planning and Transportation SPC.

Cllr Denis Leonard said there was an “epidemic” of motorists going through Kinnegad at speed. Speed cameras would be better employed in towns and villages than on motorways, he said. He spoke of the need for reduced speed at schools, housing estates and built up areas.

Cllr Frank McDermott said that measures introduced in Castlepollard were “a masterful” success, despite some slight misgivings at first locally. He said that parents breaking the speed limits at schools were endangering their own children and others.

The chairman, Cllr Liam McDaniel, admitted that he was not an advocate of speed ramps before, but seeing how effective they are in Ballinagore, he is now fully in favour of them.

Cllr Aoife Davitt was late to the meeting because she had been out at Ballinea NS meeting the principal and a garda about traffic calming measures there. She said there are around 200 people arriving at that school in the mornings and at the end of the school day.

Alison Hough asked that the council reach out to local communities to get their views in compiling this policy.

Damien Grennan, senior engineer, said that as the policy is developed for particular villages, the council will liaise with locals and gardaí.