Saturday 16 December 2017

Relief for motorists as city lockdown finally ends

Paul Melia and  Anne-Marie Walsh

MOTORISTS can finally relax when they get behind the wheel today after a week's traffic chaos due to almost back-to-back state visits.

Commuters were forced to cope with long delays in Dublin again yesterday because of widespread road closures put in place for the visit of US President Barack Obama.

But traffic restrictions end today following over a week of chaos for motorists and city centre retailers.

There was gridlock on the East Link Bridge last night as crowds dispersed following the College Green speeches and a Roger Waters concert at the O2 added to the disruption.

In contrast, the main roads through the city centre were empty as gardai closed off O'Connell Street and the north and south quays, which only opened to pedestrians at around 7.45pm.

Earlier yesterday, a 2.5km tailback stretched from the Lower Kimmage Road to Patrick Street during morning rush-hour.

Motorists travelling from Rathmines via Aungier Street also had to cope with gridlocked streets and bumper-to-bumper traffic.

But AA Roadwatch said that most people heeded advice and took public transport into town.

The main commuter routes were "fairly light", a spokesman said, but there were some delays to Dublin Bus services.

"Because Dame Street was closed traffic did back up, with tailbacks from the Lower Kimmage Road up to Patrick Street.

"It was just a case of keeping an eye on the closures. We would have invited people to take public transport.

"There were some delays on Dublin Bus, which had a knock-on effect on services to the suburbs. But traffic was slightly heavier than for the queen last week," the spokesman added.

Irish Independent Supplement

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