Sligo's new mobility plan has come in for severe criticism once more in the wake of an incident in the city centre on Thursday afternoon when members of the public had to remove bollards in order to allow an ambulance get to an emergency call.
Traffic was backed up all the way along Grattan Street, Castle Street and Teeling Street so the ambulance could not get past as there was nowhere for vehicles to pull in because of the recently installed bollards as part of plans to increase social distancing for pedestrians.
The ambulance was delayed for at least four minutes on its emergency call to Johnston Court shopping centre where a young woman had suddenly fallen ill shortly before 2pm.
Ambulance personnel had to get out in Castle Street and rush on foot to the scene while a Garda and a local businessman also ran with defibrillators under their arms as members of the public out doing their shopping began to visibly panic.
Seeing that the ambulance could not move which had its blue lights and siren on, several people began unscrewing the bollards along Grattan Street which allowed the ambulance to pass traffic and get to the top of O'Connell Street where it parked before eventually moving to the front of the shopping centre when more bollards were removed from the top of the street by workmen involved in the street enhancement works.
Another ambulance also arrived on the scene shortly afterwards and the incident has fuelled anger once more about the county council's mobility plan. However, it would appear the Council is not for changing on the issue. O'Connell Street reopened to traffic last Friday following completion of the enhancement works.