Tuesday 22 October 2019

'It highlights how vulnerable we are' - Traffic chaos throughout Dublin as M50 reopens following crash

Scene of the Early morning collision on the M5o South at J7
Traffic chaos near the M50 this morning
Traffic chaos near the M50 this morning
Traffic chaos near the M50 this morning
Traffic chaos near the M50 this morning
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

TRAFFIC chaos spread throughout Dublin city as the M50 closed in one direction following an early morning crash.

A 47-year-old woman was taken to hospital after a truck and a car collided on the M50.

The woman, who was the driver and sole occupant of her car was seriously injured. She was cut from the wreckage by rescue crews from Dublin Fire Brigade after the accident which happened on the southbound lane of the M50 at Junction 7 just before 6am.

The woman was taken to Tallaght Hospital where her condition is described as critical.

The two male truck drivers, aged 33 and 47 were uninjured, according to a garda spokesperson.

Four units of Dublin Fire Brigade from Tallaght and Dolphins Barn attended the scene.

The M50 was closed southbound at the junction for seven hours, but reopened shortly before 12.30pm.

The closure caused gridlock across the city as commuters tried to find an alternative route to work.

North Dublin was particularly hard hit as commuters on the city's northside were unable to get to the south city via the M50.

Investigating Gardaí are appealing for witnesses or anyone with information to come forward. They are particularly interested in speaking to those who were travelling on the M50 Southbound between junctions 6, Blanchardstown and 9, Red Cow or who may have merged onto the M50 Southbound at the junction 7, Lucan via the N4 Eastbound/Westbound between 5am and 5.45 am this morning. Those witnesses can contact them at Lucan Garda Station on 01 6667300, the Garda Confidential Line, 1800 666111 or any Garda Station.

Scene of the Early morning collision on the M5o South at J7
Scene of the Early morning collision on the M5o South at J7

This morning, the Port Tunnel was forced to introduce metering as traffic was exceptionally heavy, a spokesperson said.

Dublin Bus was forced to divert several bus routes due to the accident, including the 25, 25a and 25b, 66, 66a and 66b.

Traffic chaos near the M50 this morning
Traffic chaos near the M50 this morning

Traffic in the south city also experienced delays as a result of the accident.

The traffic jams spread as far as North Kildare with long delays leading into Maynooth on the old Galway road as Dublin bound commuters on the N4  tried to avoid the M50 chaos by exiting at Kilcock.

Commuters also reported heavy traffic at back roads around Dublin Airport, as the gridlock now extended down the M1.

It was also heavy both ways over the East Link as the extra traffic from the Port Tunnel filtered out.

Intending passengers flying out of Dublin Airport this morning and afternoon were advised to allow a considerable amount of extra time to make it to the airport.

Sean O’Neill, ‎Director of Corporate Communications at Transport Infrastructure Ireland, described this morning’s chaos as ‘perfect storm’.

“You are looking at the timing of the event. You are looking at the weather that we had this morning. You are looking at one of the heaviest traffic days - Wednesday is one of the highest capacity days on the motorways.

"You are looking at a motorway network in a metropolitan district that is bearing the brunt of excellent economic growth, so there’s a huge amount of traffic on it. The disruption was a combination of all these factors." 

Conor Faughnan of the AA told Today with Keelin Shanley on RTE Radio One that accidents must be sealed as if there are crime scenes.

“It was a very serious incident as you know. When something like that happens, every protocol has to be followed.

“If for example there’s a fatality on the road they treat that in the way they treat a suspicious death, with forensic teams and so on."

He said that the incident highlights how vulnerable the city is when the M50 becomes unusable.

“It highlights just how vulnerable we are. It really did have dramatic consequences for the traffic.

“Because the M50 is closed the traffic coming from the north has to divert.

“The M50 carries over 120,000 vehicles per day on average, If you put a cork in that battle you’re channelling thousands of vehicles onto unsuitable routes."

He warned this won't be the last morning of chaos over the winter.

“We can be confident this is not the last one we’re going to have. Every winter we’re pretty much guaranteed there’ll be three, four, five warnings like this.

“It all highlights are vulnerability. When everything is perfect on a nice spring day everything runs perfect, but whenever anything goes wrong it’s like a house of cards and it comes tumbling down.

“We don’t have enough transport infrastructure to carry half our commuters. We’re the only city like it in Europe."

He said that an improved public transport system and capacity would reduce vulnerability.

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