Kerry speed limits to fall in first revision since 2006

Limit near schools to fall to 50km/h, and in Ring of Kerry from 100km/h to 80km/h

Submissions on the need to revise sections of the Ring of Kerry centred on safety, including concerns about narrowness of carriageways. Photograph: iStock

Submissions on the need to revise sections of the Ring of Kerry centred on safety, including concerns about narrowness of carriageways. Photograph: iStock

 

Several sections of the Ring of Kerry are to see speed limits fall from 100km/h to 80km/h in the first revision of speed limit by-laws for the county in more than a decade.

A meeting of Kerry County Council also agreed the maximum speed approaching all national schools in the county would be 50km/h.

Dozens of roads and locations will be subject to changes under the special speed limit by-laws adopted on Monday and due to come into effect in four months.

Submissions on the need to revise sections of the Ring of Kerry centred on safety and included concern about the narrowness of the carriageway of the N70, N71 and N72 Ring of Kerry Road.

The circular tourist route sees heavy traffic several months each year with bus coaches and cars, and some sections of it are just over 6m wide. The speed limit on at least one section between Glenbeigh and Cahersiveen will now be set at 60km/h.

However, the steep Conor Pass, a regional road between Dingle and Tralee that is hugely popular with tourists, will remain at 80km/h, despite requests for the speed to be lowered.

Glenflesk village on the N22 will have a speed limit of just 60km/h, as agreed by Transport Infrastructure Ireland after submissions by councillors and the public.

There are also limits of 50km/h in the vicinity of Kate Kearney’s Cottage area of the Gap of Dunloe tourist attraction near Killarney, down from 80km/h.

Dangerous junction

All 425 housing estates in Kerry, and in Tralee and Killarney town centres, are to have a maximum limit of 30km/h.

“The most significant change is to the speed limit at schools,” said Charlie O’Sullivan, director of operations at Kerry County Council. Currently, some 48 of the 135 national schools in Kerry are in rural areas where the default speed was 80km/h but 50km/h will soon apply.

These are the first new limits since 2006, the meeting was told, and also include measures by both Kerry County Council for local and regional roads and Transport Infrastructure Ireland for the national network.

However, councillors were very critical of the refusal by the Transport Infrastructure Ireland to reduce the speed limit on the N22 at Poulgorm bridge, the turn off from the Killarney/Cork road to Kilgarvan, Kenmare and west Cork.

There have been seven accidents at the junction in 2018, Cllr Johnny Healy-Rae said. At the very least, lighting and road marking were needed, he added. The junction was “highly dangerous”, and while he was glad to have been allowed to make several submissions to them, the approach by the Transport Infrastructure Ireland in their reply to the council was either to refuse or allow.