DfI/2019-0294: EIR Request for information regarding traffic issues outside St Clare's School, Courtney Hill, Newry

Date published: 12 March 2020


DfI/2019-0294: EIR Request for information regarding traffic issues outside St Clare's School, Courtney Hill, Newry.

The specific request is as follows:


I emailed you on 5th December 2016 regarding the chaotic traffic issues outside St Clare's School Courtney Hill Newry.

I had made you aware of the dangers, which were clear and present. This situation is as a direct consequence of a lack of provision for on site parking for parents to "drop off and pick up" their children.

Perhaps there is an area within the school grounds, but if there is, it is blocked to those parents seeking to pick up kids. This is achieved by virtue of a manned gate, which is kept locked at pick up times (except for buses).
The danger to kids in particular, but to all pedestrians, and to vehicles, was spelled out at that time.

In you response you informed me that inspections were carried out on the mornings of 2nd Dec 2016, and 6th Dec 2016.

You acknowledge however, that the main problems seem to arise during the afternoon pick-ups.

The reason for writing this mail to you now, is that traffic cones are being dropped along stretches of pavement both left and right of the school gate. This action has had the effect of pushing the problem up the hill, and around onto the Windmill Road - where I live!

My driveway is narrow and slopes down to my house. I reverse into my driveway, in order that I have the best chance of driving out to minimise the dangers.

The effect the cones are having is that, the parents now "park" immediately outside my gate pillars, (left and right). In using the term, "park", I really mean "abandon", their cars half on the footpath half on the road.
This creates a situation whereby I am driving up out of my driveway completely blind to all, traffic, or pedestrians, coming from either direction. In this situation my sight lines are Zero.

Before the summer schools shut down, I complained to transport NI by telephone. A suggestion was made that some kind of T BOX could be defined outside my gate. No actions have taken place. I am also informed by a traffic warden that they do not ticket t box offenders.

May I through this correspondence, make formal submission as a FOI request.

  • How many other people have made complaints about this traffic chaos?
  • How many inspections have been carried out, during the predictably worst times i.e. afternoon pick-ups?
  • In the 2 years and 8 months since my correspondence, what effective measures have been taken to improve traffic and reduce the risk to children and others?
  • Can you please provide a copy of all the relevant conditions in terms of site layout, which allowed this development to be approved without sufficient provision on site, for set down and pick up? File (p/12/0831.).
  • What response has been received from the school, after your office made them aware that concerns had been raised?
  • What plans are being actively explored to resolve this life threatening situation.

The schools return at the end of this month. Can some constructive measures be taken to end this "accident waiting to happen".

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