The principal of Groarty Integrated Primary School has said he is delighted after confirmation that the speed limit outside the school is to be reduced to 30 miles per hour.
Infrastructure Minister Chris Hazzard contacted the school today with the good news, with the speed limit on the stretch of Coshquin Road onto Whitehouse Road is to be changed “as soon as possible”.
The reduction follows a campaign stretching back decades and involving staff, parents, governors, elected representatives and the local community.
Principal Nick Tomlinson said parents were being notified of the development this afternoon via text message.
He said: “This is brilliant news. The fact that the Minister has acted so swiftly on this is to his credit.
“This is a campaign that has bene going on for many years, back to the 1980s when there were governors’ meetings on the issue, and I really want to thank the staff, parents and governors who have been a major part of the campaign and made sure this stays in the public eye and was not allowed to be pushed under the carpet.
“I also want to thank the wider community and the support we have received from the Ballymagroarty & Hazelbank Community Partnership has been brilliant.
“For the school community this means that it is recognised that this was a hazard, having a 60 mph road outside our school.
“It means that drivers now have to drive in accordance with the new speed limit, and hopefully it means less traffic will use that cut through.”
He added that once the speed limit is reduced, it opens up the possibility of further measures such as speed bumps.
Mr Tomlinson also welcomed the Minister’s current ambition to re-examine the speed limit at schools across the north.
Sinn Féin Foyle MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed the news, after representations were made to the Transport Minister and lobbying Road Service.
Raymond McCartney said: “In recent months we met with the Principal and parents and listened to their concerns about the speed limit outside the school being far too fast for that area and the dangers this presents for pupils, parents and other users of the road.
“The Coshquin Road is always very busy at the best of times; a lot of motorists use this road as a shortcut.
“We spoke directly with the Minister Chris Hazzard just prior to the summer holidays and raised all those concerns with him. At the time he told us he was hopeful of finding a resolution to this problem.
“So we are very pleased at the news today that the speed limit on this section of road outside the school will be reduced from 60mph to 30mph. It’s a decision that will be warmly welcomed in the local community. It’s important to commend everyone who has campaigned for safety measures on this road over recent years.”