As Minister for Transport, Tourism and Sport I have responsibility for overall policy and funding in relation to roads. The planning, design and implementation of individual road projects on national roads are matters for TII under the Roads Acts 1993 to 2015 in conjunction with the relevant local authority. Regional and local roads are a matter for each respective local authority. The enforcement of road traffic legislation is a matter for An Garda Síochána.
Following the 2013 review of speed limits and subsequent 2015 guidelines for managing speed limits, provision has been made for greater use of lower speed limits in urban areas. This includes the greater use of the 30 km/h speed limit and the use of 30 km/h slow zones.
These slow zones should be introduced to increase safety for the most vulnerable road users on roads such as those which have direct frontage housing or are immediately adjacent to play areas. Signs for slow zones, amongst other things, indicates the presence of other types of road users. Further material relating to these is available in the traffic signs manual, TSM, and an accompanying advice note.
In addition, my Department introduced a new design standard for urban roads a number of years ago - the design manual for urban roads and streets, which provides for improved urban design to support traffic calming and safer interaction between road users.
Road authorities have been requested to give serious consideration to the lowering of the speed limit from 50 km/h to 30 km/h within residential estates. Where a speed limit of 30 km/h is being implemented, local authorities and community groups should consider the implementation of slow zones. This is being rolled out across the country in conjunction with lower speed limits. In addition, since 2015, special speed limits of 30 km/h have been applied in more than 6,400 housing estates. My Department has been funding this programme of works since 2015.
Additional information not given on the floor of the House
On national roads, as well as major new schemes which contribute greatly to safety, Transport Infrastructure Ireland, TII, operates a programme of minor works, including safety improvement works. The safety section of TII carries out assessments of the network which identifies accident clusters, including assessments under the European road safety directive. Works identified under these programmes are identified to the local authorities and may attract funding once a feasibility report is submitted to the safety section of TII.
Many of these programmes and initiatives are flagged in the road safety strategy 2013 to 2020. There are other relevant actions in that strategy which target the behaviour of drivers. Implementing those actions involves a variety of organisations, including the RSA and An Garda Síochána.