A senior Council official has accepted that Wexford town's ring road roundabouts are straining to cope with an increase in traffic and said a plan will have to be put in place to resolve the problem.
Deputy Chief Executive Tony Larkin was responding to complaints from Labour councillor George Lawlor and Fianna Fail's Cllr. Lisa McDonald at a meeting of Wexford Municipal Borough.
Cllr. Lawlor re-iterated the call for measures to improve traffic flow at the Duncannon and New Ross Road roundabouts telling the local authority that the situation is now dangerous as people are turning one lane into two lanes in order to overtake the long tailbacks at peak hours. 'This is absolutely necessary', insisted.
He was informed by Borough Engineer Sean Kavanagh that national roads 'are 100% a matter for Transport Infrastructure Ireland (TII)'. Mr. Kavanagh said a traffic survey is currently being carried out on the Duncannon Roundabout and it is hoped that this will provide more information to bring to the roads department.
Cllr. Lisa McDonald said an overall traffic review is urgently needed. One evening last week, it took her 20 minutes to get from Ardcavan Business Park across Wexford Bridge onto the quays while she watched the traffic flowing freely in the other direction. 'It just isn't working', she said, adding that people living in the Piercestown/Murrintown area as she does, have endured 'a nightmare of a summer' trying to get onto the main road at Rathaspeck and Sinnottstown Lane or Killinick. 'You need to give yourself an extra half an hour to get to the first roundabout. We are the ones who are trying to make it better for everyone and no-one is listening.
Mr. Kavanagh said there has been a significant increase in traffic and the opening of the new Loreto secondary school has redistributed demand. 'The quays work on a knife edge. I know exactly what Cllr. McDonald is talking about and how frustrating it is to be on the quays on a Friday evening but the time has to be shared equally between the two directions', he said. The survey at the Duncannon roundabout survey will produce more evidence to present to TII in relation to addressing the traffic on the national roads, he said.
Deputy Chief Executive Tony Larkin said it's obvious that the ring roads are experiencing over capacity. 'It seems to me that the traffic build-up is only increasing and plans will have to be put in place to resolve it. I agree we need to move forward with a plan to address it', he said. Cllr. McDonald said people are breaking the law in trying to get to their destinations on time. 'Can we provide a time frame on this', she asked.
'There is no easy solution here', replied Mr. Larkin. 'Any solution will involve major engineering and it will cost money'.