FIVE sets of pedestrian crossings are to be provided in Limerick without the flashing orange Belisha beacon lights which can cost almost €80,000 to install.
The new zebra crossings at St. Nessan’s Park, Springfield Drive and Carrig Drive in the St Paul’s School zone, Dooradoyle as well as School Road, Lisnagry and Railway Road, Castleconnell are being provided as part of a pilot scheme announced earlier today by Transport Minister Eamon Ryan.
As well as the installation costs, Belisha beacons can be delayed by issues with connection to an electricity source resulting in restrictions on the number of crossings that can be provided.
A spokesperson for the Department of Transport said that by dropping the need for these expensive lights in secondary legislation and replacing them with a reflective sign, road authorities could increase the number of safe crossing points, particularly where speed limits are 50km/h or less.
“While the move wouldn’t fully eliminate the use of Belisha beacons, the pilot scheme will inform the decision if they should be replaced with a fixed sign in certain situations.
Following research to assess how any potential risk to vulnerable road users can be reduced, it was decided to install three new new zebra crossings in Dun Laoghaire and five in Limerick.
The Belisha beacons will be replaced with by a 450mm fixed sign in locations with traffic speeds less than 30 km/h and a 600mm sign with a fluorescent yellow border in locations with traffic speeds between 30 km/h and 50km/h.
The pilot scheme will run for nine months before final analysis on their performance and potential roll out for implementation by all road authorities.