A solution to parking problems at the Piper’s Hill education campus in Naas rests with the Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board (KWETB), it emerged at a Naas Municipal district meeting last week (September 17).
The KWETB developed the campus and is the patron of the largest school there — Piper’s Hill College. Efforts to get Kildare County Council involved in finding a solution to parking problems — caused by the increasing traffic numbers using a single access route and the closure of a campus car park — have floundered.
There is significant congestion along the Kilcullen Road on weekday mornings as children are brought to the three schools. And it’s been worsened by the arrival of Naas Community College transition year students on a part time basis.
KCC insists that the KWETB is responsible for traffic management within the campus although “it is willing to examine and work with the KWETB on any proposals that are brought forward.”
KCC staff visited the area recently and they reported that while there was queueing of traffic inside the campus “it was noted that cars were moving at a slow rate and children were being dropped in a safe and controlled manner.”
They also reported that the existing arrangement appears to be working adequately when parents access the campus by the signalised junction.
The erection of a barrier within the campus is a matter for the KWETB and it happened because of safety issues that arose “with regard to conflict between parking by Education and Training Boards Ireland and parents dropping off children.”
KCC expressed concern about the lay by across the road being used by parents to drop off children because this results in additional crossing movements by vulnerable road users at the signalised junction and “would affect the capacity of the junction and likely result in more queueing of traffic at peak times.”
The council also criticised the practice of dropping children at the end of the public road near the Killashee Hotel entrance as a traffic hazard for road users and in particular the school children and it wants the KWETB and school boards of management to bring this to the attention of children.
Cllr Bill Clear said property developer Ballymore, which built the adjacent houses, “would be open to a second entrance but it’s not clear who would pay for it.”
Cllr Evie Sammon has asked the KWETB to take over the indemnity of the ETBI car park.
“In order to provide a short-term solution, which would assist parents, those driving to the KWETB campus, and which would also respect the insurance issues for ETBI, I want the KWETB to examine taking over the insurance indemnity of the car park.
“Then they could raise the barrier and allow access at rush hours for the educational campus.