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Speed limit outside primary school halved by minister

By Donna Deeney

Published 09/09/2016

People Before Profit MLA Eamonn McCann
People Before Profit MLA Eamonn McCann

The speed limit at an integrated primary school in Londonderry has been cut in half after a safety campaign by parents warned it was only a matter of time before a pupil was killed.

Groarty Primary School fronts on to the busy Coshquin Road, which lies within the city limits but is considered a rural road. The narrow stretch is used by hundreds of motorists as a shortcut into Derry and many drive at speed past parents taking their children to and from school.

But now the 60mph limit has been reduced to 30mph.

Kieran Doran from the 20's Plenty campaign, and whose daughter, Millie, is a pupil at the school, said the number of near-misses with motorists had been too numerous to count.

"I could not have been more delighted when I heard that the minister had contacted the school principal, Nick Tomlinson, to say that the speed limit was going to be reduced immediately to 30pmh," he added.

"Nick worked as hard as anyone to get the speed limit reduced and was fully behind our campaign, as were our politicians.

"It is no exaggeration to say that this decision by the minister will save lives because it was only a matter of time before a child was knocked down and killed."

People Before Profit MLA Eamonn McCann was among those who raised safety fears with Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard before the end of the last school term.

Mr McCann said the reduction of the limit outside the school should be extended to other schools in the same position.

"I regret that the minister didn't see his way to lowering the limit to 20mph, as staff and parents would have preferred," he added. "But I am glad that action has been taken.

"I am now pressing for action in a number of similar cases across the North, brought to my attention by parents or teachers aware of my intervention in relation to Groarty Integrated Primary School.

"This may seem like a marginal issue, but for the children concerned and their parents and teachers it could literally be a matter of life and death."

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