Following the opening of the new bridge and city bypass, Fine Gael Councillor John Cummins has called on the Waterford City Council to seriously examine the possibility of imposing a restriction on heavy goods vehicles entering the city.

Speaking at Monday nights Council meeting he said we had a dangerous situation now where HGVs were avoiding the toll by turning up off the motorway, travelling as far as the Carraiganore roundabout, along the Old Kilmeaden Road, on to the Carrickpherish Road and down around Bilberry rock. The use of HGVs on those roads was a recipe for disaster as they were not designed to cater for such vehicles.

Cllr Cummins is proposing the introduction of a ban and permit scheme for 5+ axle HGVs within the City, similar to what has being implemented in Dublin City since 2007, following the opening of the Port Tunnel. “In the 18 months following the introduction of the ban, Dublin’s strategy has resulted in dramatic reductions of 5+ axle vehicles within the city centre vicinity of between 80 – 94% on different routes within the cordon area. This has encouraged maximum use of the port tunnel and enhanced the city centre environment”, he said.

He continued: “A limited permit scheme exists for 5+ axle vehicles that need to load/unload within the city centre area. Such vehicles can purchase a daily permit and may only enter the cordon area on certain routes. Any HGVs found to be within the cordoned area without valid permits are subject to fines”

Cllr Cummins concluded by saying that he did not see any reason why a similar HGV management scheme could not be implemented in Waterford City.