The new design has proved extremely controversial, with many locals expressing concerns over increased traffic delays and the problems faced by emergency services in navigating The Quay as a result.
However, a spokesperson for Waterford Ambulance Service told The Munster Express that they were not aware of emergency services facing difficulties on The Quay.
“We are not aware of any particular incident or delay of concern associated with the new roads layout,” said Noel Lynch.
“We have noticed a general increase in the amount of traffic on all roads since the economy appears to be picking up a bit. In general we enjoy and appreciate good co-operation from other road users when our ambulances are responding to emergencies.”
He added: “As is common in all cities, we do experience traffic congestion in the city centre depending upon the time of day. As Traffic Management falls within the remit of the City Council, we are confident that they would have undertaken all appropriate studies prior to implementing the new design.”
A vox pop conducted by The Munster Express along The Quay last week, highlighted the differing opinions which exist over the contentious issue.
One bus driver said he was in favour of the new layout as he believes The Quay is now easier to use.
Caolain Power and Rory Young from Tramore said they felt the new layout improved the appearance of The Quay and made it safer for pedestrians.
Another local man, who did not wish to be named, also said he believed The Quay was now easier and safer to use.
However, Mary from South Kilkenny, who is a regular user of The Quay, described the new layout as a “crazy system”.
“I travel along The Quay about four or five times every day,” she explained.
“It’s a crazy system. It has considerably slowed down traffic so it gets congested very easily. I’ve seen traffic mount the median trying to make way for the emergency services.”
She described how she observed both a fire engine and an ambulance having difficulties on separate occasions.
Local business owner Hicham, who runs ‘New Look’ barber shop on Hanover Street, said traffic delays now appear to be much more common.
He said he regularly observes long tailbacks along The Quay by Hanover Street and said he had seen emergency services facing difficulties.
A video showing emergency services facing difficulties is available to view on The Munster Express Facebook page.
Waterford City & County Council has reiterated its view that The Quay doesn’t present any problem for emergency services.
In a statement, a spokesperson for Waterford City & County Council said (1) that the quays were designed with emergency vehicle access in mind; (2) there is ample road width available for two vehicles to pass on both sides of The Quay provided no other vehicles are parked illegally; and (3) Waterford City & County Council has not received any complaints from the Emergency Services based at UHW regarding access.