School’s out so let the traffic chaos commence

Parking chaos on lower New Street at school times is a major problem

FURTHER consultations between Kerry County Council and the principals of the schools in Killarney are to take place in a determined bid to tackle the absolute chaos that prevails near the local schools at drop-off and collection times.

The problem has been persistent for years and frustrated residents and motorists have complained repeatedly that they are unable to pass on the roads while parents are waiting in their vehicles to collect their children and teenagers.

The problem is particularly bad, five days a week, on the area from the end of New Street to the turn-off for both Mission Road and Port Road as parents double and triple park on the roadway, making it almost impossible for others to pass.

Problems have also materialised on New Road but, according to Cllr Donal Grady, the matter there is not being helped by the fact that the timing of the temporary closing of the road for school collections does not correspond with the actual time the children finish in the classrooms.

He asked council officials to arrange for the times on the signage on the roadway to correspond with the times the children leave the schools in the evenings.

Cllr Donal Grady: Mayhem in the area

“At present there is confusion as children come out of school at 2.20pm while signs advise of the road closing at 2.45pm,” he said.

“There is mayhem down there and it’s going on for a while. Gardai acknowledge that the system is wrong,” Cllr Grady said.

Council officials, in response, said in order to revise the times of the one-way system along New Road, the local authority will have to go through formal Section 38 planning process.

The council said prior to and during the Covid-19 pandemic, officials held a series of meetings with An Garda Siochana and the school principals in order to identify ways to improve traffic flow.

A survey of the area has been undertaken and short-term measures, such as an increase in set-down areas and school bus set-downs, have been developed and can be implemented subject to further consultations with the principals.

As part of those consultations, the matter of implementing a one-way system on New Road will be addressed.

Cllr Brendan Cronin said the council has met with the school principals on several occasions but the problems persist.

“It’s chaos there and it must be sorted out,” he remarked.