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Five Co. Armagh schools to have 20mph speed limits implemented outside gates

Five Co. Armagh schools in the local area will have a new part-time 20mph speed limit introduced outside their front gates.

At each of the schools new road signs will be erected in the form of standard fixed speed limit rounded signs with flashing amber lights set to come on at the times the reduced speed limit applies.

CBS Primary School at Keady Road, Armagh; St Paul’s High School Camlough Road, Bessbrook and Tandragee Junior High School at Armagh Road Tandragee are all to benefited from phase one earlier this year.

Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon has today (Thursday) announced the roll out of Phase two of the part-time 20mph speed limit schemes at 106 schools across Northern Ireland.

This takes the total number of schools benefiting from this new road safety scheme introduced by Minister Mallon to 209, including Co Armagh schools; Clounagh Junior High School, Seagoe PS, St John the Baptist’s College, St Malachy’s PS (Ballymoyer) and Tandragee PS.

Minister Mallon said: “I’m delighted that phase 1 of my part-time 20mph speed limits initiative has been delivered to 103 schools across Northern Ireland ensuring that children, parents and staff will be safer as they travel to and from school on a daily basis.

“Given the success of this initiative, I am today pleased to announce Phase 2 which will see a further 106 schools at 99 sites across the North benefitting from the introduction of new reduced speed limits. Road safety, especially around our schools, is a priority of mine and it is my intention that through future programmes many more schools will have a 20mph speed limit on the roads outside their gates.

“For Phase 2, schools in Northern Ireland were assessed across our four roads divisions and schools in each division were identified based on considerations of need and individual site constraints. My officials are working hard to develop the schemes, take forward the legislation and put in place this new tranche of part-time 20mph speed limit measures at these schools.

“This is another step forward in our effort to make our roads safer, however, it is vital that all road users continue to take care on our roads. Together we can deliver safer places for all our communities.”

SDLP MLA Dolores Kelly welcomed the saying it would make things safer for parents, children and staff as they travel to and from school, alongside drivers and pedestrians.

The Upper Bann MLA said: “Today’s announcement from SDLP Minister Nichola Mallon is fantastic for the local community. This will be welcomed by children, parents and school staff across the North.

“The SDLP has made road safety a top priority and our Minister Nichola Mallon is getting the job done. Making sure that over 200 schools will benefit across the North, helping keep our children safe.

“I’m delighted that the SDLP’s investment and leadership in government is making a real difference to people’s lives. Parents, children, school staff and indeed all road users in Upper Bann will be looking forward to seeing these new lights and signs erected outside our schools soon.”

DUP representative for Cusher, Alderman Gareth Wilson  welcomed the inclusion of Tandragee Primary School in the second phase.

He said: “This is very welcome news for Tandragee Primary School and I have been lobbied extensively in recent times about issues with drivers jumping red lights on the Portadown Road close to the school gates.

“Awareness, of course, is key in making drivers slow down and pay attention to the surroundings and where a school is involved and scores of children entering and exiting, this couldn’t be more important.”

Alderman Wilson added: “I welcome this announcement and it means the town will now be served by two temporary 20mph limits at the main schools which will no doubt create that extra level of awareness and hopefully make drivers take heed with less speed.

“There are of course more schools that could benefit from these installations and hopefully further rounds will be forthcoming in the future.”

Meanwhile, party colleague, Upper Bann MP Carla Lockhart said: “For some time, my DUP colleagues and I have been pressing the Department for Infrastructure (DfI) to improve safety at a number of local schools where parents and school principals have raised concerns about road safety.

“It is very welcome that the Department recognise these concerns and will now be rolling out part-time 20mph zones at Clounagh Junior High School, Seagoe Primary School and St John the Baptist’s College (Portadown). I know parents, staff and the local community connected to each school will very much welcome this. I was pleased to learn that the infrastructure for this will be in place in the next couple of months.”

She added: “However, key now is for the PSNI to enforce these speed limits with road safety operations in these areas. Sadly, we see that 30mph limits are ignored in areas right across our community by a minority of motorists who show no regard for the safety of other road users. We need the PSNI to be visible when these zones go active and make sure they are adhered to.

“Furthermore, I continue to engage with the Department in relation to other schools where similar road safety concerns exist. This is a good start, but more needs done.”

The full list of schools to benefit from Phase 2 of the 20mph speed limit schemes is available at: https://www.infrastructure-ni.gov.uk/publications/20mph-speed-limit-schemes-schools-phase-2

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