Wednesday 21 February 2018

Review underway after half-marathon disaster

Traffic chaos marred the Dublin Half Marathon. Pic: An Garda Siochana
Traffic chaos marred the Dublin Half Marathon. Pic: An Garda Siochana

John Manning

Following traffic chaos seen last week around the Dublin Half-Marathon which started at Newbridge House, Fingal County Council said it 'unreservedly apologises for the disruption and inconvenience caused to both participants and residents' by the event.

In a statement following the event, Fingal County Council said: 'This was the first time this event was held at Newbridge House, Donabate, and there were many months of planning by the Dublin Race Series, who organised the event. This included a series of meetings and consultations with statutory stakeholders. A full Event Management Safety Plan and Traffic Management Plan was prepared by competent professionals and submitted to Fingal County Council.'

The council admitted: 'The main issue which caused delays was the failure to properly manage the junction at Lissenhall (M1/R132). This was despite a review after similar issues at the 2017 Flavours of Fingal event in June. Following Flavours of Fingal, Fingal County Council approached the Dublin Race Series and advised that there was a need for a robust Traffic Management Plan to deal with any potential issues which could arise.

'A professional traffic management company was engaged by Dublin Race Series and a Traffic Management Plan submitted and accepted by Fingal County Council. There were also several hundred volunteer stewards and 59 members of An Gárda Siochána in attendance at the event. This is a very complex junction to manage and it is accepted that this Traffic Management Plan proved insufficient to deal with the high volume of traffic utilising the junction over a short period of time on Saturday morning.'

The council statement added: 'Dublin Race Series have an excellent reputation in the delivery of similar events over many years. Fingal County Council also delivers, funds and facilitates many successful and safe events on an annual basis including three St. Patrick's Day Parades, Dublin Bay Prawn Festival, Swords Summerfest, Swords Festival of Fire, Baldoyle Family Fun Day, Flavours of Fingal County Show, Concerts at Malahide Castle and Blanchardstown Family Fun Day. Fingal County Council's events programme attracts over 450,000 people, generates €30.1 million in the local economy, and supports 360 jobs on an annual basis.

'The delivery of an events programme is a very fine balancing act between attracting, supporting and delivering quality events for citizens and visitors to the County while managing disruption to citizens and business. Unfortunately, on this occasion, this event fell below the standards we hold ourselves to and for this we again apologise.'

The council said that now a full review of the event will now be undertaken in consultation with all stakeholders. The review will include an assessment of the Traffic Management Plan and its implementation as well as an evaluation of the suitability of Newbridge House to accommodate large crowds.

Fingal Independent

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