Cllrs swerve motion to remove traffic calming chicane in Laytown

Cllr Paddy Meade was met with fierce opposition when he called for the removal of an "ineffective" traffic chicane in a busy east Meath housing estate at this month’s Laytown/Bettystown Municipal District meeting.

Cllr Meade tabled a motion to remove the traffic calming chicane from the entrance to Inse Bay in Laytown that he says is resulting in back logs of traffic trying to access the estate.

Six of the seven elected representatives voted against the motion with just Cllr Stephen McKee supporting the idea.

Explaining his reasons for bringing the motion to the council chamber, Cllr Meade said.

"The problem with Inse Bay is the level of traffic going through it, on a few occasions this has led to a back log of cars reaching the main road which in turn has led to road safety concerns. We all want road safety but the chicane where it is placed is not effective.”

Labour Cllr Elaine McGinty agreed that the chicane was causing issues for residents but did not agree in removing it and instead suggested reviewing the situation.

"It is not that they don’t want traffic calming measures, it is that this is not working the way it was intended to and a lot of them are having difficulty navigating it. It is needed but sometimes we have to go back and revisit things and see if they can be improved and I think that is what’s needed here."

Cllr Wayne Harding said that in light of recent tragedies on the roads, it should be the aim to increase safety measures and not take them away.

“Every estate you go into is looking for some kind of traffic calming measures, I can’t support in any way shape of form the removal of the only thing that is keeping people safe. It was put in by our engineers to improve the safety of that estate and to remove that in light of all that is happening with losing lives on our roads and in our estates would be irresponsible.

Cllr Tom Behan was also against the motion. He said:

"I can’t support this motion. We are at a stage where we are constantly approaching the council looking for additional traffic calming measures to be added into estates to make them safer."

Cllr Sharon Tolan said;

"I cannot support the removal of a traffic calming chicane in an area that so desperately requires further traffic calming. It is serving its purpose, it is slowing down traffic. My only concern is the maintenance of it, we installed a piece of infrastructure that Meath County Council should take responsibility for.

Fianna Fail Cllr McKee says he agreed with Cllr Meade in regards to the question of how effective the chicane was in its current location but suggested the issue be investigated first.

" I would like to see some kind of audit carried out on that chicane and if it is working effectively. I think the motion is a very valid one and I think it would be wrong to suggest that Paddy Meade is not concerned about road safety,” he added.