UFU welcomes speed limit at local schools

School road sign
School road sign

The Department for Infrastructure has introduced a new part-time speed limit of 20 mph outside seven rural primary schools including Bronte Primary School, Ballynaskeagh Road, Banbridge.

Introduced last Tuesday, the new legislation will reduce the National Speed Limit to 20 mph for a short time at the start and end of the school day when pupils are arriving in the morning and leaving school in the afternoon. This will be for a distance of 400-500 metres along adjacent roads in the vicinity of each school and will be enforceable by the PSNI.

Motorists should be aware of, and adhere to, the new arrangements in the vicinity of these schools.

Lighting on the signs (Wig Wag lights) will advise motorists when the speed limit is in effect. These signs will remain off for most of the time but will light up at the start and end of the school day.

Installation of the required signage and lighting will be complete on or shortly after September 18.

Welcoming the news, the Ulster Farmers’ Union urged motorists to ‘take these seriously’.

UFU’s rural affairs chairperson, Joy Rollston said; “This is an important step in helping reduce the number of collisions and causalities on our roads.

“Schools are busy places, especially when children are dropped off and collected.

“The Department deserves credit for listening to concerns raised by the UFU and others about the dangers on often fast rural roads.

“Implementing and policing part-time speed limits will help keep children safe. We would urge all motorists to take these seriously – doing so could save a child’s life.”

Mrs Rollston added that the UFU would like to see this extended to all rural primary schools as quickly as possible. New signage and lighting will be erected in the vicinity of the seven schools to warn motorists when the 20mph speed limit is operational. It will be enforced by the PSNI.