Tag Archive for 'safe routes to school'

Press Release – School and Transport needs of Young People need to be strengthened in Fingal Development Plan – O’Gorman

15/06/10

Dublin West Green Party representative, Roderic O’Gorman has called on Fingal County Council to introduce policies on safe routes to school and new schools. He was speaking as the Dublin West Green Party made its submission on the Draft County Development Plan.

“The Draft Fingal County Development Plan 2011-17 sets out the goals that Fingal County Council will be seeking to achieve over the next 6 years. I believe that as part of this, it is vital that the Council adopts a Safe Routes to School scheme and a New Schools Strategy”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

“In my initial submission on the Development Plan, I suggested that Fingal County Council commit to initiating a Safe-Routes to School scheme across the county. My proposal did not make it into the Draft Plan so I am again calling for this measure to be adopted”.

“Such a Safe Routes to School strategy would involve bringing together parents, teachers, the Gardai and Council officials to plan a safe route to school strategy for each school. This would involve improving pedestrian crossings, cycle lanes and footpaths in the vicinity of schools as well as reducing speed limits and introducing a ban on heavy goods vehicles around school districts. A further element would be to ensure the provision of bike sheds in schools so students have a safe place to park their bicycles”.

“It is important to note that the Renewed Programme for Government commits to the rolling out of a ‘Safe Routes to School’ strategy across the whole country by 2012. As such, Fingal should act now to be in the position to benefit from central funding to facilitate the roll out of the project”.

“Another key area where the current Draft Plan does not go far enough is in relation to new schools. Fingal has suffered severely from the failure to adequately zone land for schools at primary and secondary level over the last 10 years. The Strategic Overview of the Draft Plan notes the very high percentage of young children in the county. This will have a significant impact on the need for new and larger schools over the period of the Draft Plan”.

“I have argued that the provisions within the Urban Fingal Chapter on providing new schools are too vague and run the risk of the same delays in obtaining sites for schools that have been experienced in the last five years. I am proposing that a New Schools Strategy needs to be devised, which will allow for enhanced communications between the Council, the Forward Planning Section of the Department of the Environment, patron bodies and local communities. This New Schools Strategy should be given specific recognition in the Development Plan”.

“The first priority of the New Schools Strategy would be to identify if there is existing and planned capacity for the number of classrooms that the Forward Planning Section of the Department estimate will be needed across Fingal. In areas where there is a shortfall, measures must be taken immediately to remedy this situation”.

“As part of the New Schools Strategy, there needs to be consistency as to the zoning that is given to a site that is intended to be used as a school. All such sites should be zoned as Objective CI – ‘Community Infrastructure”.

“These two measures are part of a number that I and the Dublin West Green Party included in our submission on the Draft Development Plan. They come as a result of going door to door and discussing these issues with residents of Dublin 15, a public meeting that we held and our interaction with planners and relevant community groups. While I will not be in a position to vote on the Development Plan, I would strongly urge local councillors to adopt these common sense measures”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

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Fingal County Council needs to plan for Safe Routes to School in Development Plan

29/06/09

 

 

Green Party Dublin 15 representative, Roderic O’Gorman has called on Fingal County Council to adopt specific measures to promote safe routes to school. The proposal was one of a number contained in the Dublin West Green Party submission on the first stage of the Fingal County Development Plan.

 

“I think that Fingal County Council could take a much more active role in promoting safe routes to school across the county, and the Development Plan process gives an opportunity to make this happen. I am proposing that a section should be inserted into the new Development Plan specifically outlining Fingal County Councils responsibility in this area”, stated Roderic O’Gorman

 

“Each local area committee across Fingal would create a Safe Routes to School subcommittee. This would bring together parents, teachers, the Gardai and Fingal County Council officials and would draw up a safe route to school strategy for each school in the area. The committee would look at a wide range of measures including improving pedestrian crossings, cycle lanes and footpaths in the vicinity of schools and reducing speed limits and introducing a ban on heavy goods vehicles around school districts. It would also work to ensure the provision of bike sheds in schools so students have a safe place to park their bicycles”.

 

“I discussed this issue with many parents during the local election campaign, and it was almost universally welcomed. Parents and school kids should be given the option to walk or cycle to school, but they will only do so if they feel confident that they can undertake the journey in safety. Not only will my proposal mean healthier children and have environmental benefits, it will also have a significant impact on traffic congestion across Dublin 15 by taking cars off the road in the morning and afternoon”.

 

“As the Development Plan process continues, I intend to vigorously lobby Council officials on this and other issues to ensure their inclusion in the final draft”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

 

 

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Further Information

Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

O’Gorman launches Safe Routes to School campaign

 

14/05/09

 

Green Party Castleknock ward candidate, Roderic O’Gorman has launched his Safe Routes to School campaign. The Green Party candidate is pledging that if he is elected in June, he will seek to have a new section inserted into the County Development Plan outlining a major role for Fingal County Council is ensuring that kids can get to school safely.

 

“As I’ve been campaigning door to door over the last eighteen months, one complaint I hear regularly from parents is that they don’t feel they can let their kids walk or cycle to school because traffic is so dangerous. If I’m elected on 5th June, I will make amending the new Fingal County Development Plan to include a section on Safe Routes to School a key priority. This would place an obligation on the County Council to assist every school in Dublin 15 in drawing up a Safe Routes to School Plan”, stated Roderic O’Gorman.

 

“My main idea is that Fingal County Council should be bringing together all the interested parties for each school in Dublin 15 – parents, teachers, students, the Gardai and Council officials and engineers – and together these would draw up a Safe Route to School plan for each school. Initially they would assess the main access routes to each school and then determine what are the main dangers or obstacles faced by pupils who were walking or cycling”.

 

“The Council can then undertake initiatives such as improving pedestrian crossings, cycle lanes and footpaths in the vicinity of schools or even reducing speed limits and introducing a ban on heavy goods vehicles around school. The Council could also be involved in ensuring the provision of bike sheds in schools so students have a safe place to park their bicycles. There is money available to support Safe Route to School schemes through the Department of Transport which has allocated €2 million to support An Taisce’s Green Schools Travel programme”.

 

“Promoting Safe Routes to School has a number of benefits. It will reduce congestion during the morning rush hour period and children will be healthier from walking or cycling to school. Obviously there will be environmental benefits from taking cars off the roads”.

 

“Over the course of the local election campaign, I am going to meet parents at local schools and discuss my proposal with them. I think the new County Development Plan gives us a fantastic opportunity to see Fingal County Council take a lead in ensuring that children can walk or cycle to school in safety. If I am elected on 5th June, I will work with all the stakeholders to make this a reality”, concluded Roderic O’Gorman.

 

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Further Information

Roderic O’Gorman: 087 417 9777

 

How will a Safe Routes to School Scheme work?

 

Step 1: Amend the new Fingal County Development Plan to include a requirement for a safe route to school scheme for every school in Dublin 15

Step 2: Bring together parents, teachers, the Gardai and Fingal County Council to plan a safe route to school strategy for each school.

Step 3: Improve pedestrian crossings, cycle lanes and footpaths in the vicinity of schools

Step 4: Reduce speed limits and introduce a ban on heavy goods vehicles on the roads around schools

Step 5: Ensure the provision of bike sheds in schools so students have a safe place to park their bicycles