Robert Forrest


The residents of the Glenville estate on the Dunmore Road have again taken to the streets to protest against the removal of a traffic sensor.


A sensor light, which activated as cars left Glenville, was removed in September of last year, causing outrage among the residents.


To highlight their frustrations, two protests have been held, with the latest taking place on Wednesday last.


Residents took to the road with signs, frequently pressing the pedestrian light and blocking the road.


Many passing drivers became frustrated with the protestors and the resulting traffic, whilst others honked their horns in support.


Despite numerous phone calls, emails and visits to City Hall by residents in recent months, Waterford City and County Council are yet to reverse the change.


Council engineer Roger Noonan, along with Independent Councillor David Daniels, met with residents at the junction in early January to discuss their concerns.


Mr Noonan is understood to have told residents that the Council “would work to improve the junction”.


However, the Council have stated they have no intention of reinstating the sensor light.


Speaking at the protest, Fianna Fáil Councillor Adam Wyse said that there was a lack of democracy in the Council’s handling of road issues.


Cllr Wyse said: “There’s no democracy involved in these issues anymore.”

“I’ve been elected to Waterford Council for 11 years. We’ve always had a good say in traffic safety, road management and estate management and that seems to be taken away from us.”


“We’re being quoted from engineers and the Council now that there’s a new process now called Section 38, where the engineer makes the decision and that’s it and the Council and the public have no say in it.”


“It gets put in front of us at the Council for comment but they can change it the day before they start the works.”


Cllr Wyse went on to use an example of works planned for Glenville and Powerscourt and outlined what he thought of such plans.


“They’ve shown us the plans, I in my own opinion don’t think that the plan is actually going to solve anything, I think it’s going to make things worse.”


“It will create bottlenecks and if anyone that speeds through it, someone is going to be absolutely T-boned in the side of their car.”


“We’re the people on the ground, we’re elected to represent the views of people, we’re out here talking to residents every single week about this issue and we’re bringing it back to the engineers and we’re being completely ignored.”


Despite the Council’s refusal to reverse the decision, Cllr Wyse has said that local Councillors will continue to highlight the issue.


“The next step is that all the Councillors in Waterford City East […] are going to call a meeting with the CEO of Waterford Council to express our concerns around Section 38, that we don’t feel it’s appropriate that an engineer, that isn’t representing the area makes the decision.”


“The Councillors should be involved in that decision. We’re not saying we’re experts on it but we want to be involved in the decision and we want the CEO to pass that on and to take on our concerns.”


Cllr Wyse also said that he received the previously mentioned plan half an hour before the protest, and in sending it at that specific time, Council engineers we’re trying to deflect the issue.


“We spent a year at Powerscourt and six months here fighting this issue and being told there’s a plan.”


“When the day comes that a protest happens, all of a sudden, typical attitude that a plan gets put down in front of us half an hour before the protest takes place.”

“That’s when I received the email with a plan for the area. So it’s a bit of a joke, it’s trying to pull wool over people’s eyes.”


Cllr Wyse concluded by saying that he hoped there would be a change in the way engineers treat Councillors and the residents they represent.


Glenville residents believe that the reinstallation of the sensor is necessary to reduce the danger of speeding vehicles when exiting the estate.


However, the Council believe it would be “inappropriate” to have a traffic sensor on a pedestrian light crossing and are not expected to reinstall the device.