Speed humps to address fears for safety of pupils

Principal Gareth Blackery pictured outside St Paul's Primary School Slievemore back in March 2018. DER1218GS010
Principal Gareth Blackery pictured outside St Paul's Primary School Slievemore back in March 2018. DER1218GS010

A Derry primary school principal has welcomed confirmation that speed humps will be erected outside his school to address fears speeding motorists were posing a danger to children and families.

However Gareth Blackery, principal at St. Paul’s Primary School, Slievemore, said he was disappointed that the lay bys he had called for on undeveloped land either side of Moss Road to prevent parents having to park on the busy main road to drop off and collect their children will not be installed as part of the works.

Mr. Blackery was responding after the Department for Infrastructure confirmed it is planning to introduce the speed humps once the road is resurfaced.

The £122,000 resurfacing and restructuring scheme is already well under way, and involves 670 metres of resurfacing from Glengalliagh Road to Galliagh Roundabout outside St Joseph’s Chapel. It is expected work will be completed over the coming week.

The Department said the scheme “will greatly improve the strength and surface quality of the road”. Due to the nature of the scheme, a full road closure has been in operation from 9.30am to 6.00pm will continue until later this month.

A spokesperson for the Department for Infrastructure said: “The Department can confirm that traffic calming measures in the form of several sets of speed cushions will be provided on the Moss Road as part of the resurfacing scheme.”

Mr Blackery, backed by parents, staff, and local representatives, spoke earlier this year about the dangerous traffic situation at the entrance to St Paul’s P.S. A request for safety measures was turned down initially because the road was found to be ‘too busy’ and a main thoroughfare, however a further review resulted in a rethink.

Speaking about the roadworks currently under way, Mr Blackery said yesterday: “I am pleased that the speed humps are going to be put in place and I am pleased the road is being resurfaced as it was badly needed.

“Speed humps will slow down traffic but I am disappointed that lay bys will not form part of the works currently under way. Parents parking will still have nowhere to pull their vehicles in and will still have to park out in the road. It will not change the lack of visibility.”

Mr Blackery said he hoped the Department during future improvement works in the area would look at the issue again and consider creating lay bys to further improve visibility and safety for children and their parents walking to school, the school crossing patrol and drivers.