Monasterevin and Athy have been granted funding as part of a pilot School Street scheme, meaning that roads will be closed to traffic during school opening and closing times.
Monasterevin is to get €25,000 to support the School Street pilot scheme, and Athy is to get €25,000 to support this scheme.
According to Kildare County Council, The proposal is to trial a temporary road closure for a 12 month period on Mount Hawkins Street, Athy between Stanhope Place and Chapel Lane junction and Convent View junction between 8.15am to 9.30am plus 1.00pm to 3.00pm and Drogheda Street, Monasterevin between Rathangan Road and Togher Road Junctions and between Whelan Street and Canal Harbour road junctions between 8.30am to 9.30am plus 1.30pm to 3.30pm during school term time.
A one-way system can be proposed as an alternative option on either street.
Minister Martin Heydon said: “I welcome this Government funding for Kildare South and Laois in recognition of the changes needed to support our local businesses and communities as they adapt to the new demands that Covid places on them all.“
Kildare County Council said: "The School Streets initiative aims to reduce through traffic, making it a safer and more pleasant environment for everyone. Athy and Monasterevin have been selected as the two pilot towns for a period of 12 months and the council’s Road Safety, Cycling and Sustainable Transport Officer will be working with the schools, elected members and local community to coordinate and develop the initiative."
A statement from Kildare County Council said: "A ‘School Street’ is where a road which has a school on it may temporarily close or is restricted to vehicular traffic to allow for a pedestrian and cycle zone during a school opening and closing times. The ‘School Street’ initiative aims to provide school-goers, parents, and guardians with a safer and easier route to school, making it a healthy, active and sustainable means of transport to school, by walking, cycling or scooting. By temporarily closing the road or restricting vehicle traffic on it during school times, this will help reduce risks, traffic congestion and air pollution in the vicinity of the school."
The statement said: "There are different alternatives for a ‘School Street’, like making a street a ‘No-Vehicle’ zone or turning into a ‘One-Way’ street. Either way, there should be either no vehicles permitted on the ‘school street’ or at least, having vehicle using a one-way system."
The statement said: "School streets are common around Europe and the UK, and here in Ireland, the first school street was undertaken by Fingal County Council for Saint Oliver Plunkett School on the Grove road in Malahide. School Streets will help reduce the danger to school children from the significant amount of traffic on certain streets during a school opening and closing times."
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