15 Feb 2012
TRANSPORT MINISTER’S AUDIT OF SPEED LIMITS MISSES THE POINTEnvironment & Rural Affairs, Infrastructure
IFA Deputy President Eddie Downey has challenged the basis for the audit of speed limits on rural roads announced by Transport Minister Leo Varadkar. He said, “If the Minister is serious about road safety issues, he should implement immediately an investment programme of maintenance and repair of regional and secondary roads.”
Eddie Downey said, “Anyone driving on rural secondary roads will see firsthand their deplorable state, with potholes and collapsing verges a real safety issue for road users. What the Minister needs to direct local authorities to carry out extensive repairs that would allow road users to travel in safety.”
The IFA’s Countryside spokesman said commercial activity in rural areas cannot be curtailed. “Lowering speed limits is not the solution; policing the existing ones is. The underlying issue of adequate road maintenance continues to affect the competitiveness of rural businesses, at a time when every advantage is needed if the economy is to grow.”
Local authorities also need to address their failure to provide proper road signage and markings, and to keep hedgerows trimmed and litter free.
Eddie Downey said the Minister should have local authorities undertake a comprehensive review of what is needed to bring all roads up to standard, and get to work. “We have seen huge investment in our national network of roads, which has delivered benefits to users of motorways. Now the network of secondary routes must be improved.”