Fingal County Council has voted to enact the Special Speed Limits Bye Laws 2021 which will see the speed limit in all housing estates be set to 30kph while urban towns and villages will not be assigned a default speed limit.
A report outlining the proposed speed limit changes was drafted in 2020 with the county council voting to approve the bye-laws at the February meeting.
Under the new bye-laws, 387 priority 30kph signs will be erected in housing estates across the county while there will be 12 go-slow areas introduced at schools.
Submissions by An Garda Síochána to the report said it was concerned that some housing estates did not have an assigned speed limit, which has now been corrected by the council.
Under the bye-laws, Lanesborough Road, Charlestown Road and Melville Road in Finglas have also had their speed limits dropped from 50kph to 30kph.
The speed limit at Togher Hil in Skerries has also been reduced from 80 kph to 50kph.
However, Fine Gael councillor for Castleknock Ted Leddy said the proposed reduction to the speed limit from 80kph to 60kph on the Navan Road traveling towards the Halfway House pub “could become a real problem for the council.”
“People won’t know that it is now 60kph and may be seen by the public as a revenue raising move.”
Fianna Fail councillor Howard Mahony agreed with Leddy on the issue and said that the change in speed limit will be like “shooting fish in a barrel” as motorists will be asked to rapidly reduce speed.
“It is an easy hit for speeding fines even now – the enforcement of it has been abused.”
Labour councillor John Walsh said he would question to reduce the speed limit on the road and asked for evidence indicating it was accident-prone.
In response, Andrew Nolan a senior executive engineer for the council said the decision was made to reduce the speed limit on the road for “consistency” as larger stretches of the road were already assigned as 60kph due to multiple pedestrian crossings.
The report also revealed that 18 submissions were made to the council to reduce the speed at Sandpitts, Somerton Road and Rugged Lane in Castleknock from 50kph to 30kph.
However, in response, it said that 30kph “was unrealistically low and would not be consistent with the county limits.”
This decision was criticised by some councillors with Mahony saying he was “disappointed,” with the proposal.
“Sandpitts is one of the most dangerous roads I know.”
Walsh agreed with Mahony saying that “Rugged Lane is perhaps the most dangerous stretch of road I have driven on.
“If anyone thinks they can drive at 50kph on that road, then best of luck of them and god help them.
“There is an extremely strong case to make the road 30kph there.”
Green Party councillor Karen Power said that the proposal by the report to not introduce a default 30kph speed limit in urban towns and villages under the bye-laws “does not reflect, as a council, where we are at the moment.”
Power said the shift towards “more active travel,” in the county doesn’t coincide with the proposal to not introduce a default speed limit in urban areas.
She said she would like to see “a mechanism to introduce a default urban speed limit – or review the bye-laws within a set time frame.”
The bye-laws were passed unanimously by the council with chief executive AnnMarie Farrelly saying the bye-laws will be consistently reviewed in the future to address some of the concerns raised.