Parents of Lawrencetown NS call for car parking to allow children safe access to school.

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We, the undersigned, are concerned member of the community in Lawrencetown. We are urging our local representatives to act now to provide essential off-road car parking to allow our children safe access to the National School.

As you may already know, Lawrencetown school is situated on a regional road. At present there is no official parking at the school,  apart from a small area at the front which is currently used by the staff. Parking tends to be of an ad-hoc nature, using mainly verges and footpaths.

The issue was first brought to our attention at a local community meeting with many parents expressing concern over the congestion and speed of traffic on the road especially at school drop-off and pick-up times.

On further investigation two separate traffic surveys were completed by the Community Development Group in February 2017 to assess the volume, speed and behavior of vehicles on the road adjacent to the school. It highlighted hazardous and dangerous conditions. Its main findings were as follows;

1. Average speed passing school is 62kph (speed limit is 50kph)
2. 36% of vehicles passing the school on the side nearest the school (Lawrencetown-Ballinasloe)
travel at between 70-80kph.

1. There was evidence of set down in all areas including verges north of the school, verges south of the school, on footpaths, on the grass verge opposite of the school, in the bus stop, on the road in front of designated parking.

1. There was evidence of pedestrians exiting and entering vehicles on the traffic side of the vehicles (risk of collision with oncoming traffic) and pedestrians having to cross the main road at the school.
1. On average non-school going traffic was obstructed 12 times daily by school parking
Dangerous Observations included;
1. Vehicles performing U-turns into oncoming traffic
2. Vehicles reversing into oncoming traffic
3. Double parking on the live carriageway
4. Entering and exiting cars on the traffic side of the vehicles forcing oncoming traffic to move to the other side
5. Bus parking on live carriageway due to overspill form cars into bus parking area.

The seriousness of the problems is apparent from the findings and the school and the community group are currently working together to find a solution to the problem. We would appreciate