INCREASED traffic on the Dunmore Road is causing “pandemonium” according to local Councillors.
At the June Metropolitan District meeting of Waterford City & County Council, a call was made for improved traffic management to help alleviate the “chaos” which is being created. Cllr Eddie Mulligan (FF) said there is regularly “pandemonium” along the route and highlighted problems at specific locations such as the Oskars and Uluru roundabouts.Cllr Mulligan also cited poor road markings and lengthy delays caused by traffic lights at pedestrian crossings as contributing factors along with the low level of public transport use in Waterford.
“Ultimately, the population of Waterford City has increased by roughly four per cent over a four year period from census to census,” he said.
“I feel we need to initiate some sort of traffic management plan from the Passage Cross the whole way into the Mall in the City.”He added that Lombard Street is often “chaotic” also. Cllr Mary Roche (Ind) said she supported Cllr Mulligan’s comments and said a number of measures could be looked at to improve the situation.
She specifically mentioned the frequency of some traffic lights, including by Viewmount near University Hospital Waterford (UHW), as well as the confusion caused by road markings and traffic lanes.
“Passing The Cove Bar, the road is signed for one lane of traffic but there are actually two,” she explained.
She also highlighted issues at the small roundabout by the entrance to the Ardkeen Shopping Centre.
“To say it’s at capacity would be understating it substantially,” she said, adding that there was often “chaos” at the location. “Somebody will be hurt. It’s like a game of chicken.” Cllr Roche also highlighted that the Waterside/Catherine Street junction requires attention.
“It’s much busier and more dangerous due to traffic going to and from the car park at the Waterside,” she said.
Cllr Roche said Gardaí are also inclined to double park in the area when attending the courthouse.
In response, District Manager Fergus Galvin said there are a number of short term and long term responses.
He said the proposed third river crossing is one long term measure which would address issues.
In relation to the low uptake of public transport, Mr Galvin explained that Waterford City is still “relatively” accessible.
“Traffic congestion is still relatively light and parking is relatively easy and cheap,” he said.
He stressed that he was saying this in the context of comparisons to areas such as Galway and Cork.
However, he acknowledged that the Dunmore Road in particular is “at capacity”.
“With the upturn in the economy, there has been an increase in volumes of traffic on all access routes into the city – the Cork Road, Willamstown Road, Dunmore Road, Tramore Road,” he said.
In relation to the Waterside/Catherine Street junction, Mr Galvin said the Council had been waiting to establish traffic volumes as a result of the opening of the new car park and the courthouse.
He added that the Council would speak with the Gardaí in relation to parking in the area.
Mr Galvin said the wider issue of traffic management will be explored by the Council in an attempt to come up with solutions, adding that the issue is due to come before the Strategic Policy Committee (SPC).